iamges of people in laboratories

Welcome to Virtual Labs in the CSU

The Virtual Labs in the CSU is part of system-wide Academic Technology initiative to reduce enrollment bottleneck courses for students through the use of innovative online technologies. Science faculty throughout the CSU are adopting virtual labs to engage students in learning through active participation rather than passive observation. Technological advances, combined with bandwidth maturity and mobile access make virtual labs an increasingly viable part of the teaching and learning.

We invite you through this site to learn about current and innovative virtual labs technologies, lab experiments, and simulations used in teaching the science, technology, engineering, and math disciplines in higher education.

What You'll Find Here

  1. The use of leading edge Virtual labs in the teaching and learning process.
  2. A "one-stop-shop" for a growing collection of free and fee-based virtual labs.
  3. Advice with links to a wide range of additional Science, Engineering, and Math resources and materials on Virtual Labs.
    • Exciting teaching experience using virtual labs
    • Innovative lab protocols and simulations
    • Exemplary Practices in CSU virtual labs
    • MERLOT Services


Image of students using a virtual lab in a classroom.

Students Using Virtual Labs

News and Events:

The Virtual Labs informational webinar was held on Monday, February 1, 2016.

See the Slides From the Webinar


Apply for Support Using Virtual Labs

Participate in Webinars on Virtual Labs

Read the CSU Virtual Labs RFP FAQ

Check out CSU Course Redesign Initiatives Website

Join the Virtual Labs in the CSU community at MERLOT Voices.

For some students, virtual labs replace hands-on science experiments...LA Times

Virtual Labs for GE Biology

General education biology laboratory courses are facility and labor intensive and often have low student success. This project addresses these concerns through the implementation of online labs to engage students in the scientific method, reduce the demand for laboratory facilities, and decrease costs, addressing both facility and pedagogical bottleneck.

Project Report (pdf) | ePortfolio

Virtual Labs Posters for the 2014 CSU Summer Institute:

  1. Virtual Labs in the CSU
  2. Biology Labs Online
  3. ePortfolio for virtual labs - Chemistry CSUF
  4. Smart Science Education Inc.
    Real Science Online

Case Study Articles

Featured Articles:

Designing and Implementing Virtual Courseware to Promote Inquiry-based Learning
Robert A. Desharnais`, California State University, Los Angeles CA
Melvin Lipman, American Physiological Society, Bethesda, MD

The Biology Labs On-Line Project: Producing Educational Simulations That Promote Active Learning
Jeffrey Bell, California State University

Article on Strategies for Success Teaching with Virtual Labs:

Learning by Doing with Biology Labs Online
Robert A. Desharnais`, California State University, Los Angeles CA

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