Investigating the Usage of Labster and Its Future Implications for Industry and Academia


The unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on engineering education has resulted in lasting changes in the way educators teach as well as the way students learn. One of the most impacted areas was the inability of students to undertake laboratory training, which is crucial for engineering employability. In 2020-21, UCL Biochemical Engineering implemented the use of Labster – a virtual lab simulator that allows students to complete laboratory experiments online, whilst simultaneously exploring complex theories. This project aimed to investigate the impact of using Labster as a lab training tool to evaluate how well it prepared students for industry, and furthermore to understand any implications this may have for academic practice across other departmental programmes. The method for data collection comprised of interviews and survey dissemination to two MSc cohorts and steering committee members who comprise of key industry players. Analysis of the results shows that over 60% of graduates on the MSc reported back that the use of Labster effectively prepared them for the engineering working environment. Similarly, communications with industry suggested that although many companies use in-house virtual software packages, Labster served as a useful tool in helping to bridge the skills gap. The consensus from all students that partook in the study was that the lab simulator was considered to be very useful for practical theory learning which made it easier for them to carry out practical. Based on this, the use of Labster will be rolled out to lab and non-lab-based modules across a range of programmes.

Author Information
Rana Khalife, University College London, United Kingdom
Pierre Springer, University College London, United Kingdom
Chika Nweke, University College London, United Kingdom

Paper Information
Conference: ECE2023
Stream: Learning Experiences

This paper is part of the ECE2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Khalife R., Springer P., & Nweke C. (2023) Investigating the Usage of Labster and Its Future Implications for Industry and Academia ISSN: 2188-1162 The European Conference on Education 2023: Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon