Future of Remote Learning: The Virtual Laboratory Perspective


  • J. N. Ndunagu National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN)
  • E. Ukwandu Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
  • M. E. Ezema University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN)
  • C. Olebara Imo State University
  • C. I. Ugwu University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN)
  • J. S. Igwe Ebonyi State University, (EBSU) Abakaliki
  • D. O. Oyewola Federal University Kashere, Gombe State
  • S. E. Fapohunda National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN)


Virtual laboratory, Hybrid learning, Remote learning, Open and Distance Learning, Face-to-Face, Traditional learning


This study examined the viability of using a virtual laboratory as an alternative to the traditional technique of performing experiments in an open and remote learning environment. A Google form was utilised to gather information from National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) science students through an online questionnaire.
A total of 350 students were recruited from six Study Centers of NOUN each from the geographical zone based on four faculties using convenience sampling. The students' WhatsApp numbers were used to circulate the questionnaire. Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to analyze the responses which were
coded in a spreadsheet (SPSS). All dependent factors provided by participants were tested using the Chi Square test for demographic variables (age, gender, and field of study). With a p-value of 0.006, the results revealed a statistically significant relationship between age and demand for alternative virtual laboratory usage. There was
statistical significance found between the faculty of study and the demand for high-speed Internet. The findings revealed that the current NOUN Practical teaching technique is insufficient since it has no relationship with any of the independent variables. NOUN, which already operates physical laboratories in zonal centres, might
supplement the Practical Teaching Technique with a virtual practical learning system that simulates real-life practical sessions. The outcome improved internet access along with a hybrid of both physical and virtual practical learning that would address the NEEDS of NOUN students as identified in the NEEDs assessment survey and
would reduce the attrition rate of science students.