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Virtual Labs Accessibility Review

The Virtual Labs include eight modules to choose from, allowing students to unleash their inner organic chemist or biologist by participating in interactive lessons where they perform a variety of experiments. Each lesson is designed to demonstrate how chemistry and biology help ensure food and water safety for general consumption. These lessons include testing corn samples for mold; bacteria sampling to find harmful bacteria in dairy produce; and calibrating pH levels to determine acidic levels in various food products. The Virtual Labs modules can also be used as learning tools to help students become familiar with a variety of laboratory equipment and how they are used to help scientists successfully complete experiments. For example, when testing for mold in corn, the student is introduced to UV light, pipetting syringe, and graduated cylinder as they complete each step in the experiment. If a student is having a difficult time grasping a concept, they can revisit the lesson multiple times even if they have completed the lesson.

The Virtual Labs are available for iOS devices in addition to as web-based Flash modules. Having a mobile application option gives students who do not have access to a computer at home the opportunity to use the program on their smartphone or tablet. In terms of accessibility, students who have trouble using the mouse to point and click may find it easier to tap on their tablet when using the application. However, students who are red/green colorblind may have difficulty seeing some of the objects in the tutorials.

The Virtual Labs modules include voiceover of all text, which can be turned on or off by clicking or tapping an icon at the top of the screen.

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