Understanding the risks associated with laboratory work and equipping students with knowledge to ameliorate these risks is an essential part of bioscience training. Students arriving at University of Westminster have a range of laboratory competencies reflecting the diversity of the students and entry qualifications. Laboratory simulations can place students in a life-threatening scenario enabling them to make mistakes without risk.
Our aim was to see whether the use of a commercially available “Labster” Health and Safety simulation within a large core first year biochemistry module increased student engagement and understanding. This simulation provides a realistic laboratory scenario and students must answer questions throughout to progress.
We have evaluated both the immediate student experience of this laboratory simulation as well as evaluating the longer impact of the simulations (surveying students in the following academic year) and will discuss our findings of the impact of laboratory simulations on student engagement and understanding.