Lab Rotation Definition
The idea behind it is basically that learners participate in offline activities in the traditional brick-and-mortar setting, and then move to online activities in a computer lab. It looks almost the same as the Station Rotation model, but there’s a difference. Unlike the Station Rotation model, where both offline and online activities take place in one and the same class, the Lab Rotation requires learners to physically change rooms.
Implementing a Lab Rotation model
The Lab Rotation model can be set up the following way: learners spend one part of their day in a computer lab working through the online curriculum at their own pace. Another part of the day they work in a class with a teacher to reinforce what they learned in the lab and can cover tricky questions.
In a computer lab, learners can work flexibly at their own pace, spending as much time as they need in order to understand the material. During face-to-face interaction, teachers provide support or enrichment activities as needed. A teacher may also group the students, and all the groups may be working on something different based on where they’re at and what mastery level they’ve shown.
Another method of implementing this model is as follows:
- A mini-lesson is delivered in the formal training room
- Those who grasp the subject move onto the computer lab station for independent practice at their own pace
- Learners who need additional support are able to receive personalized attention in a small group
This method allows the teacher to intervene quickly if learners need additional support.
While the Lab Rotation model is most commonly used in schools, it can still be applied effectively in organizations. Formal face-to-face training takes part in a meeting/training room to impart the key learnings. The employees can then move to another meeting room to access the online learning on their devices or laptops, or return to their desks. The trainer is then available in the training room to offer additional support and guidance in smaller groups.
- Requires little adjustment to the traditional learning set-up. Most organizations and schools have access to computers or space where learners can use their own devices to access the e-learning aspect of this model.
- E-learning is more engaging. It’s interactive and fun and allows your students or employees to learn while doing.
- It makes tracking your learners’ performance incredibly easy. It also provides valuable data on how they’ve interacted with the learning content.
- There are financial benefits. Research has shown that if students spend 25-50% of their time in computer labs with only supervision from a teaching assistant, schools can save $1000-$2000 per student per year.
- Supports students who cannot access online learning at home. Unlike the flipped classroom model, where students do the majority of their learning as homework, the Lab Rotation model supports students who do not have access to technology or do not have the motivation or environment to self-study at home.
Limitations of the Lab Rotation model
At first, you may experience some difficulties while setting up a new learning model. Teachers or trainers will have to change their teaching methods significantly, like reorganizing activities and curriculum. But after you do it once, you can further reuse the same planning.
When moving learners to the computer lab station, in a school setting particularly, you will need additional supervisory support from a teaching assistant. Otherwise, if the primary trainer is required to supervise instead of providing additional support, you will lose the personalized aspect of this model.
Another challenge is to choose the software and find or create your own learning content. You should take into account the ease of use for both teachers and students, assessment options, results tracking, cost, etc. You might want to start with some all-inclusive tools like Easygenerator. Easygenerator is a good start allowing to create courses and interactive quizzes, track learners results and share them, check learners engagement and more.
Additionally, as a cloud-based authoring tool with zero learning curve, it is incredibly simple to start creating courses with Easygenerator. And you can utilize your organization’s BYOD (bring your own device) policy. All learners need in order to access the “computer lab” station is an internet connection and their own laptop or tablet.