Investigating High School Science Teachers’ Perceptions and Practices of Science Virtual Laboratories in American Schools in Ajman, UAE

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
Despite the positive impact of the virtual lab experimentation, the teachers are not using labs for scientific experiments and investigations effectively in quality and quantity. Even the virtual labs applications are not used regularly or effectively. Thus, this research study aimed at investigating high school science teachers’ perceptions and practices of science virtual laboratories in private schools following US curriculum in the emirate of Ajman in the United Arab Emirates. A mixed method approach was employed to collect qualitative and quantitative data via valid and reliable questionnaire. The study targeted a group of high school science teachers of grades 9-12, teaching biology, chemistry and physics in three American curriculum schools based in Ajman-UAE. Four research questions were crafted to guide the study and achieve the purpose of the study. The research problem stemmed from the acknowledgement of insufficient practical integration of virtual lab in science instruction. The results of the study found out that teachers had adequate knowledge of virtual laboratories; teachers agreed on what they needed to improve their own practices and assured the success of using virtual laboratories in high school science lessons, and schools are required to provide students with sufficient resources. Besides teachers stated that they did not receive appropriate training on how to use and conduct virtual laboratories. Despite the limitations of the current study, its significance lies in being a stepping-stone to start conversations on the matter at hand and motivate further investigation into the effectiveness and methods of integrating virtual laboratories in science classes as a whole. Keywords: virtual lab, Science teachers, perception, practices
education, science education, virtual lab, innovation, technology in teaching, science high school, uae