The shift from face-to-face instruction to remote teaching and learning has proven to be a challenging endeavor for many reasons, including lack of time, resources, and inspiration. Lab courses, the “hands-on” portion of many curricula, may be especially difficult to adapt to online learning given the common use of specialized equipment, materials, and techniques that require close supervision. Without the time and resources to creatively modify existing activities or create new ones, remote lab courses run the risk of becoming less effective, equitable, and/or engaging. Squirrel-Net has created four field-based activities for biology labs that are easy to implement, highly flexible for different course aims, and readily adaptable to a remote learning environment. In this essay, we briefly summarize the modules and propose several ways that each can be adjusted to accommodate online teaching and learning. By providing authentic learning opportunities through distance delivery we hope to promote widespread student engagement and creative solutions for instructors.
Dizney, Laurie; Varner, Johanna; Duggan, Jennifer; Lanier, Hayley C.; Connors, Patrice K.; Erb, Liesl P.; Flaherty, Elizabeth A.; Yahnke, Christopher J.; and Hanson, John D., "Squirreling from Afar: Adapting Squirrel-Net Modules for Remote Teaching and Learning" (2021). AES Faculty Publications and Presentations. 7.