Expanding Role for a Distance Education Lab Management System: Athabasca University Experience with Reagents Database
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Ongoing research and development of a distance education lab management system has revealed new and unexpected potential. After teaching science labs in a print based mode for the past thirty plus years, the transition from print based to online science course delivery is being assisted by the creation of a number of interrelated databases for tracking a wide range of student lab activities. So far, lab registrations, lab exemptions, manuals, kit requests, reagents, quizzes, and most recently a \'lab reagents database\' can all be managed and tracked on the Centre for Science system wide server using Lotus Notes run databases. The Lab Reagents Database allows students to find wide range of resources related to the reagents, and to expand their knowledge and understanding in a self directed mode. The creation of this database and its potential for being used to fuel the creation of a Course Management System are explained herein.