Free Open Online Course for Enhancing Lab Learning Outcomes 

Now open! (January 2017)

Course Aims

The aim of this course is to revisit some of the fundamental educational principles of laboratory learning, as a means of improving the instructional design of labs.

Whether you are an experienced educator looking to revisit your practices, or a newer instructor wanting to try something different or to improve what you already do, this course offers you a chance to reassess your assumptions about labs and their educational bases.

Target Audience

Experienced or beginning educators in universities, secondary and middle schools who want to improve the quality of laboratory experiences in STEM education.

As a participant in this MOOC you may be eligible for recognition for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) - to maintain your registration as a teacher, for example. Certificates of completion can be requested if evidence is provided of your full participation and completion of the course activities in either self-paced or Action Learning modes.

Time: 10 hours (Self-paced) 12 hours (Action Learning)


Practical skills of students are absolutely essential, and this is especially true in practice-based disciplines such as nursing, engineering and science.
Enhance student outcomes by developing teacher expertise in planning, designing, implementing and evaluating lab experiences.


covering crucial aspects of laboratory planning, development, deployment, and evaluation.

Module 1 - Developing laboratory classes for the digital age

Module 2 - Developing the aims, objectives and alignment of laboratory classes

Module 3 - Types of labs and the conditions for learning they present

Module 4 - Structuring and Supporting Learning in Laboratory Classes

Module 5 - Modern Laboratory Learning Environments

Module 6 - Bringing it all together – developing activity guides and lesson plans.

Two Modes of Participation

 Action Learning

  • Weekly modules with videos or demonstrations (11/2 hrs / week x 6 weeks).

  • Create your own project with guidance from facilitators (1 hr/week x 9 weeks).

  • Participate in 2 online meetings of a small manageable group of 4-5 peers.

  • Shared Practice Showcase of all projects (slides, videos, photos and documents).


  • Work your way through the videos, activities and reading material at your own pace.

  • Approximately 10 hours in total.


Typical modules consist of web-based, multimedia & text-based study materials. Brief expert videos provide stimulus material about key concepts. Virtual tours provide a window into labs in use. These components are combined with activities, contributions by participants and further reading.

Course Organisers

Led by Engineering, Health Sciences and Education staff at the University of Southern Queensland supported by an international team of experts.


Participants will receive a badge upon successful completion with evidence of active participation in the course.


MOOC for Enhancing Lab Learning Outcomes 

Join us in now!