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Virtual Lab Simulations

Labster's virtual lab simulations can be used in a variety of scientific disciplines. With over 200+ and growing simulations in the Labster catalog, instructors have a wide variety of options that are especially useful for remote instruction. With virtual simulations, students can practice basic lab skills with no special equipment other than a computer.

If you'd like more information about using this tool in your course, please fill out our Interest Form and an ATS instructional designer will contact you to schedule a consultation:


Get Started with Labster in BeachBoard

Labster simulations can be uploaded to BeachBoard for easy integration into course modules. In addition, instructors can associate Labster grade items within BeachBoard and use their dashboard to retrieve student performance metrics on simulation attempts.

Get Started with Labster

If desired, download these instructions as a PDF: Getting Started with Labster.

Step 1: Choose the Simulation

As a best practice, we suggest importing one Labster simulation at a time.

  1. Access the "SIMULATIONS" tab on Labster’s Faculty Resource website.
  2. To find the simulation that best matches your needs, click on each simulation topic to see an overview, a walk-through video, and learning objectives.

Step 2: Download the Simulation from Labster

  1. Access the "UPLOAD TO LMS" tab on Labster’s Faculty Resource website.
    1. Select the “UPLOAD TO LMS” option if defaulted to another offering. 
  2. Select your desired simulation cartridge.
  3. Click "Add Simulations to Your LMS" to invoke the simulations window:

    add simulation to your LMS
  4. Locate the course you want to download and click on the plus + icon:

    acids and bases sample course button
  5. Click "Download:"

    download the zip file and upload it to your LMS
  6. Select BrightSpace as the LMS option, then click "Download Common Cartridge File."

Step 3: Upload the Simulation to BeachBoard

  1. Log in to BeachBoard and select the appropriate course for your simulation.
  2. Access the "Import/Export/Copy Component" tool via the Admin Tool icon located next to your name:

    import export copy components settings
  3. Select the "Import Components" radio button and click "Start."
  4. Click "Upload" and locate the saved common cartridge zip file.
  5. Select "Import All Components."
  6. Wait for the course to be imported and then click "View Content."
  7. The simulation is displayed on the left side under the course Table of Contents titled "Simulations."
  8. Click on the respective module and select the title to launch the specific simulation you have uploaded.

Note: When loading a Labster simulation, navigating away to another tab will disrupt the loading process and interrupt the simulation from loading properly.

Grade Labster Simulations

Download Grading Labster Simulations in BeachBoard [PDF]

Note: The new, BeachBoard Content Experience must be disabled to successfully proceed with grading instructions and process. To manage this Content experience within your course, click here.

Step 1: Create a New Grade Item

After importing the desired simulation, you will need to associate a Grade Item to evaluate student performance for their Labster attempts. To create a Grade Item, follow the steps below when accessing the imported simulation via BeachBoard and after closing the new tab that opens to prevent the simulation from loading and slowing down your computer:

  1. Within the “Activity Details” tab, select “Add a grade item…” underneath the Assessment option.
    activity details for adding a grade item
  2. Click the “+” symbol to create a new grade item.
    • If you created a Grade Item for this simulation beforehand, click the dropdown menu and select it from the existing Grade Items, then click “Save."
  3. After entering the new Grade Item details, click “Create” then “Save.”
    save the assessment

Step 2: Access Completed Attempts

By associating a Grade Item and only after students have attempted and completed their simulation attempt, BeachBoard will automatically assign a corresponding point value. To access a summary of completed simulation attempts, follow the instructions below after accessing the desired Labster simulation via BeachBoard:

  1. Click the “Completion Summary” tab (this defaults to the “All” display option)
  2. To filter by attempt status, click on the respective option (e.g. Completed, Incomplete, or Exempt)
    Incomplete attempts via BeachBoard

Note: BeachBoard does not record and grade an attempt if a student has not completed your simulation to 100%. In other words, if students do not attempt all simulation questions, or simply leave their attempt as incomplete, BeachBoard will display no activity for these students.

Step 3: Configure Teacher's Dashboard

Should your students have difficulty completing your selected simulation, or simply leave it incomplete, you may still obtain their graded attempt via the Teacher Dashboard tool. Follow the instructions below to access and configure the Labster dashboard after accessing the desired simulation:

  1. From the simulation “Start” window, click the "hamburger" menu.
    start menu option
  2. Select "Dashboard" from the list of options.
  3. Upon first access, and because you have no simulation data pre-populated, you will be prompted to click the "Set up your dashboard" option.
    • If you have accessed the dashboard before and did configure the first time, click “Settings” to begin configuration.

  4. Locate and select from the Selections window all Labster simulations already imported into your course, then click “Continue”.
  5. Select the radio button indicating your preferred threshold for completion and select “Continue” (for grade capturing purposes, we suggest electing the last available option).
    • Be advised, this student performance information is strictly available in the Labster Dashboard (i.e., settings have no effect on BeachBoard grading)
  6. Designate the score threshold for a pass/fail visualization of student results and click “Continue”.
  7. Define the play attempts then click “Continue”.
  8. Select “Save settings” then “Done".

You may always reconfigure these settings at any time by repeating this process.

Step 4: Access Student Attempt Information

  1. Click on the desired student to reveal and select their attempt.
  2. Attempt details” will now open in a new tab – click the “Download” link to save a local file of their attempt details.
  3. You may also review their “Quiz Summary” attempt for an overview of student scores along with a Correct and Fail status for each question.
    attempt Details page reviewing Quiz Summary

Student Instructions

Download Accessing Labster Simulations:  Student Instructions [PDF]

System Requirements
Labster simulations can only be used on laptops or desktop-based computers, and meet the requirements listed below.

  • Processor: Dual-core 2 GHz or higher
  • Memory: 4 GB or more
  • Graphics card: Intel HD 3000 / GeForce 6800 GT / Radeon X700 or higher
  • Operating System: Latest version of Windows (64-bit) or Mac OS or ChromeOS
  • Supported browsers: Latest version of Firefox and Chrome
  • A stable Internet Connection

Step 1: Launch Simulation in BeachBoard

  1. Log in to BeachBoard.
  2. Select the appropriate course.
  3. Click on "Content".
  4. Locate the simulation and click to launch.

Step 2: Load Simulation

The latest version of Google Chrome and Firefox are recommended to launch simulations. There will be a brief loading period before you can start. During the loading screen make sure to:

  • Have a stable Internet connection.
  • Stay on the tab so the simulation can load properly; Labster simulations are a resource-intensive process, so your browser may indicate performance issues. When loading is complete, a 'start' button will appear. Click "START" to begin.
  • Navigating away to another tab will disrupt the loading process and interrupt the simulation from loading properly.
  • All simulation progress is saved automatically. Returning to the same simulation will allow you to resume from the last saving point.
  • Be advised, leaving a simulation in progress without obtaining a 100% completion will not produce a graded score in BeachBoard.

Learn More About Labster