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Synchronous Online Hands-on Labs Using IOLab

Session Overview

This video was part of the July 2020 REMOTE: The Connected Faculty Summit

We have developed a portable wireless lab system called IOLab with the goal of putting a simple yet powerful tool in the hands of every student, and we have implemented a design-based lab approach for the 2500 students per semester taking introductory physics at the University of Illinois.

Our students invent experiments and acquire data both in and out of the classroom, and they share their data with each other and with their instructors using an integrated cloud based repository.

This approach has allowed us to shift the focus of our introductory physics labs toward creativity and critical thinking, and it will enable us to provide students with an authentic hands-on experience even as we move our labs on-line for the Fall 2020 semester.


Mats Selen

Professor, University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign
Mats was an undergrad at Guelph, and grad student at Princeton, and a post-doc at Cornell, and has been on the faculty at the University of Illinois Department of Physics since 1993. After 25 years of studying elementary particles he shifted his research focus to physics education. With Illinois colleagues he developed the iClicker classroom response system, the FlipItPhysics learning framework, and most recently the IOLab wireless data acquisition system. He was named the 2016 U.S. Professor of the Year.