Emerging Ideas for Paperless Laboratory Classes

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Using technology in the classroom is not a new idea, with most educational institutions from primary through to tertiary education using technology extensively. Technology in the classroom can enable streamlining of administrative tasks, enhance educational resources and engage students more effectively in their learning. One area were technology can have a huge impact is in science laboratory practical classes, especially in universities were classes can be very large and pose challenges for the delivery of high quality educational and applied learning experiences. In parallel with these developments, students are considered as ‘digital natives’ with the majority having grown up using technology and devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops (over 98% of our students have at least one of these) for both personal and professional/educational use. The development of technology and the ‘digital native’ alongside each other provides a real opportunity to deliver even higher quality educational experiences especially in the laboratory classroom. We have surveyed the paperless classroom landscape to identify potential initiatives that could be used in our own laboratory classes to deliver an interactive, more immersive and enriched educational experience. This review investigated the concepts of cloud computing, the use of various devices, a comparison of different software applications that can be used for paperless teaching, and finally highlights a pilot study we have conducted with several classes that were converted to paperless versions. These pilots all used the Lt cloud-based system from AD Instruments and participants were surveyed via questionnaires and focus groups to ascertain their views and opinions on this new way of teaching their laboratory classes. Survey results following the pilots were overwhelmingly positive with students (n = 28) seeing the advantages of such a system to streamline and enhance their learning experience. Students particularly liked the use of videos and links to further information that could be accessed through the instructional materials provided in the system. Staff who also used the system highlighted how it can reduce their demonstration time as students can understand equipment setups and background information more directly using videos and links to external content. Some potential downsides of paperless technology suggested by students were difficulties with graph drawing and the use of a single screen to view reports and data. Overall, our experience has been a positive one and the use of such paperless technology offers a real opportunity to fundamentally change the way we teach laboratory classes in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2019
EventPhysiology 2019 - Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre, Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Duration: 8 Jul 201910 Jul 2019


ConferencePhysiology 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Paperless Classroom
  • Laboratory Experiments


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