We intend to catalog empirical research focusing on the implementation of Virtual Laboratory in the STEM disciplines.
1. his review presents the first attempt to synthesize recent (post-2005) empirical studies that focus on directly comparing learning outcome achievement using traditional lab (TL; hands-on) and non-traditional lab (NTL; virtual and remote) participants as experimental groups. Findings suggest that most studies reviewed (n = 50, 89%) demonstrate student learning outcome achievement is equal or higher in NTL versus TL across all learning outcome categories (knowledge and understanding, inquiry skills, practical skills, perception, analytical skills, and social and scientific communication), though the majority of studies (n = 53, 95%) focused on outcomes related to content knowledge, with most studies (n = 40, 71%) employing quizzes and tests as the assessment instrument. Scientific inquiry skills was the least assessed learning objective (n = 4, 7%), and lab reports/written assignments (n = 5, 9%) and practical exams (n = 5, 9%) were the least common assessment instrument. The results of this review raise several important concerns and questions to be addressed by future research.