Safety and
Rigor

Minimize the risk without losing course rigor

Safety Is Key

Since HOL’s founding in 1994, students have used our products to safely perform traditional science lab work in a distance-learning setting. These experiments utilize materials and methods that minimize risk while still offering the rigor and sophistication of an on-site lab facility.

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  • 01. Safe Materials
  • 02. Environmentally Conscious Experiment Design
  • 03. Microscale Chemistry
  • 04. Platform as Pedagogy
  • 05. Rigorous Review Process

01. Safe Materials

When assembling our lab kits, safety is our number-one priority. We choose materials that students can securely handle from their own homes, and our lab kits include all the personal protective equipment they need to conduct their experiments safely. We limit toxicity in our biological experiments by utilizing formalin-free materials and non-virulent microbes. Safety data sheets (SDS) are available upon request for every chemical used in our lab kits, and students are provided with instructions on how to safely and responsibly dispose of each of the included materials. In fact, every student must complete two lab-safety modules before unlocking the main course content.

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02. Environmentally Conscious Experiment Design

At Hands-On Labs, we’re committed to designing environmentally safe labs. Each experiment follows step-by-step directions designed by our team of Ph.D. scientists to maintain rigor while reducing risk in the at-home environment. All of our chemical experiments adhere to the principles of Green Chemistry, as described by the American Chemical Society. Our labs are designed to reduce waste, avoid the creation of hazardous substances, and limit demand on diminishing resources.

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03. Microscale Chemistry

Professors constantly tell us that the labs we choose to include are the same labs they teach in face-to-face classes, simply scaled down to give students a more manageable experience. In fact, HOL’s experiments follow the principles of microscale chemistry. Widely used across college campuses today, microscale methods emphasize safety and minimal environmental impact without compromising the integrity of the procedure. When designing experiments, we only provide our students with small, diluted quantities of the chemicals they’ll need, all of which are pre-packaged in order to minimize handling.

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04. Platform as Pedagogy

The HOL Cloud was designed by science professors for science professors. Working with instructional designers, user experience experts, and world-class developers, our team integrated best practices for science pedagogy into every corner of the platform, ensuring that the unique needs of science learners and teachers are supported from start to finish.

Including features designed to enhance experimentation and data collection, and integrating metacognitive learning theory and Bloom's taxonomy into every section, the HOL Cloud is more than a platform; it's pedagogy. This powerful delivery method, coupled with our rigorous instructional design standards, ensures that your students can make clear and lasting connections between the learning material, the experiment they perform, and how it all fits into the big picture.

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05. Rigorous Review Process

At HOL, we’ve developed a meticulous content creation process to ensure that our experiments and lessons match — or even surpass — the rigor of a face-to-face course. All of our content is initially developed internally by Ph.D. scientists with teaching experience. After that, it receives an internal review to verify that it meets our pedagogical best practices and strong standards. Finally, each lesson undergoes several comprehensive peer-reviews from external Ph.D.’s currently teaching at the college and university level. Having passed through multiple stages of design and review by experts in your field, HOL content is content you can trust. When you assign your students a lesson, you’ll know they’re in good hands.

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WHAT'S INCLUDED

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HOL Cloud

The HOL Cloud is an advanced learning platform especially designed to provide a tactile lab experience for distance learners. With comprehensive gradebook analytics and powerful features such as custom lesson authoring, the HOL Cloud will give you full control over your online classroom and help redefine the laboratory learning landscape for your students.

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Online Lab Curriculum

Our mission at Hands-On Labs is to help educate the scientists of tomorrow, regardless of where they are today. Customize your course by choosing from our extensive experiment library of more than 700 peer-reviewed lessons across nine science disciplines.

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Lab Kits

The lab kit is the beating heart of every HOL lesson. Far from basic kitchen-science procedures, these advanced kits contain materials, chemicals, and equipment that reflect the sophistication of a traditional campus lab facility. They allow your students to unlock the joy of scientific discovery, no matter where in the world they might be.

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