Remote laboratory work: what is it like?
In distance training, an analog of a laboratory lesson is virtual laboratory work.

Virtual laboratory work is a computer program that allows you to perform experiments and get results without the direct use of real laboratory facilities and instruments. Also, virtual laboratory work is a kind of work that is carried out remotely or at home using special laboratory kits.
Types of virtual laboratory:
- for engineering areas: remote physical laboratories, remote virtual physical laboratories, virtual simulators;

- for the natural sciences: laboratory kits for the home.
Virtual work requires greater clarity in the description of the sequence of actions
The approach to the problem of creating virtual laboratory works and their implementation in the educational process should be differentiated and take into account the specifics of a particular discipline.

The logic of presenting the material in virtual laboratory work differs from the real work in a more detailed description of the research process, an abundance of tips and links, as well as the presence of animation.

Virtual work requires greater clarity in the description of the sequence of actions, so it is methodologically justified to present this kind of work in the form of a certain number of sections - tabs, each of which carries its own semantic load:

Theoretical material.

Description of work.

The order of the work.

Laboratory installation.


For the successful completion of any laboratory work, the student must carefully study the theoretical material on the research topic, therefore, in a virtual laboratory work, a section with the same name should be presented in more detail than in a classical workshop.

In the "Description of work" section, the goal of laboratory work is formulated, an installation diagram, calculation formulas are given, and work with graphs is described.

In the section "Procedure", the student receives step-by-step instructions for performing laboratory work.

In the "Laboratory installation" section, the student performs an experiment.

In the "Report" section, the student fills in the appropriate sections, fixing the values obtained during the experiment of the measured values, carries out calculations and errors.

1. Examples of virtual laboratories.
STAR (Software Tools for Academics and Researchers) is a program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to develop virtual laboratories for research and training. The program consists of the development of educational and research applications in general biology, biochemistry, genetics, hydrology, in the field of distributed computing. Most applications are realized in java or in html. The official website of the program:

StarBiochem is a 3D visualizer of protein molecules. It has a flexible and detailed setting. URL:

StarGenetics. - allows you to simulate the processes of crossing, to study the patterns of inheritance of monogenic traits (the so-called Mendel laws).URL:

Starorf. - allows you to learn how to identify the so-called open reading frames (English - ORF - Open Reading Frame) - units in the DNA or RNA chain that can encode a protein. URL:

StarMolSim is a series of tools that simulate molecular dynamics processes. Each of the tools has a wide set of input values and, similarly, a wide set of output values for analysis and research. URL:

StarBiogene - Genetics Toolkit. URL:

StarHydro is a software tool for modeling hydrological processes. (failed to start!). URL::

StarCluster - A set of tools for creating, configuring, and managing virtual machine clusters on Amazon's EC2 cloud web service. URL:

Only relevant specialists can evaluate these virtual laboratories, however, it is possible to state with a certain degree of certainty that they are fundamental, cover a wide range of tasks in a certain field of knowledge, and have a rich toolkit.

2. Virtual laboratories VirtuLab
VirtualLab is a project for the development of virtual laboratory work for students in physics, chemistry, biology, ecology. Virtual labs are realized using Flash technology. They are distinguished by narrow specialization, in most cases, linear experience (the entire sequence of actions and the results of the experiment are predetermined). VirtualLab products have cognitive value and solve the problem of laboratory work in the absence of the necessary equipment.

VirtuLab project website:

Examples of laboratory work:

Studying the interaction of particles and nuclear reactions

Comparison of molar heat capacities of metals

Learning Ohm's Law for the Full Chain - Learning Ohm's Law for the Full Chain - Step 2

Acquaintance with samples of metals and alloys

Identification of inorganic compounds

The study of the external structure and variety of arthropods. The external structure of crayfish.

The external structure of the insect.

The study of changes in ecosystems on biological models (aquarium)

The Lotka-Volterra model «Predator-Victim»
3. Algodoo
Algodoo is a program designed for physical 2D simulations. It has a very rich toolbox for creating various objects, mechanisms and systems with the aim of modeling their physical interaction and properties. For example, you can create a model of a working watch, a model of a planet rover or a pneumatic rifle.

The program is able to simulate not only mechanical processes, but also optical ones, and the ability to program using the Thyme scripting language allows you to create objects with original physical properties, various functions, effects and phenomena. It is also possible to upload drawings: a drawing becomes an object of simulation and you can set any physical properties for it.

The program is free.

There is algobox storage where users can share their models. Official website:
4. PhET

PhET is a project developed by the University of Colorado. The project includes a large number of virtual laboratories demonstrating various phenomena in the fields of physics, biology, chemistry, mathematics, and earth sciences.

The experiments are of high cognitive value and at the same time very enticing.


Color vision
Balancing Act
John Travoltage
Radioactive Dating Game
Build an Atom
Circuit Construction Kit (AC+DC)
My Solar System
Photoelectric Effect
Radio Waves & Electromagnetic Fields
5. Wolfram Demonstrations Project.
The goal of the Wolfram Demonstrations Project( – is to demonstrate the concepts of modern science and technology. Wolfram claims to be a single platform to create a unified catalog of online interactive laboratories. This, according to its developers, will allow users to avoid the problems associated with the use of diverse training resources and development platforms.

To view the demos, you will need to download and install a special Wolfram CDF Player

Currently (July 2013), the Wolfram Demonstrations Project has an impressive catalog of approximately 8900 interactive demos.

The project catalog consists of 11 main sections relating to various fields of knowledge and human activity. There are large physical, chemical and mathematical sections, as well as devoted to technology, engineering, social sciences.
6. The ChemCollective
The ChemCollective project, dedicated to the study of chemistry.

The Virtual Lab:

A distinctive feature of the laboratory is that there are no tasks, the user is given freedom of action Other products of the project are laboratory projects dedicated to certain topics and concern such areas of chemistry as stoichiometry, thermochemistry, acid and base theory, analytical chemistry, etc.

Identifying an Unknown Liquid from its Density
Predicting DNA Concentration
Coffee Problem
Cobalt Chloride and LeChatlier's Principle
Standardization of NaOH with a KHP solution: Acid Base Titration
Creating a Buffer Solution
7. Virtual laboratories
The project was developed by specialists of the Chelyabinsk State University and is completely dedicated to physics. In addition to the actual laboratory work, here you can also find lectures with visual interactive elements. Examples of laboratory work:

Examples of laboratory work:

The law of conservation and change of momentum
Heat. Internal energy. Work
Safe radiation
8. Late Nite Labs
This is a series of paid virtual laboratories in chemistry, biology and microbiology. The access cost is about $ 50 per student per semester. The virtual labs are designed in the form of a 3D world.

9. ChemLab
Software for simulation of laboratory work. Official site:

2. Remote laboratories

The Labshare Institute (LBI)
Project Address:
Labshare is a consortium initiated by the Department of Education, Employment and Labor Relations of Australia and includes 5 technical universities in Australia. The aim of the project is to create a national network of remote laboratories.

Installation examples:

2.2. MIT iCampus iLabs

2.3. labster

2.4. Remotely controlled laboratory


2.6. Remote controlled experiments (the Grammar-school of J. Vrchlicky)

2.7. OpenLabs Electronics Laboratory

2.8. Rexlab

2.9. UNED Portal of Collaborative Virtual and Remote Labs

Other links: