A demonstration of the virtual environment for learning experimental procedures in a laboratory – the SWIFT lab

Updated: 4:15pm, 11 Nov, 2022
11 April 2013 (Thu)
Telemedicine Centre (MTC), 2/F William MW Mong Block, 21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
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This seminar is jointly organized by CITE and Institute of Medical and Health Sciences Education, The University of Hong Kong.

This seminar will present the current state of the technology for virtual simulations of an experimental laboratory. The primary demonstration will be the SWIFT virtual laboratory ( and the simulated lab bench setups, developed and hosted by the University of Leicester in the UK. Previously these lab benches were set up to host virtual experiments testing for blood samples for Sickle Cell Anemia, Huntington's Chorea, and other genetic disorders.
The equipment on the benches are virtual representations of PCR thermocyclers, UV transilluminators, protein gel tanks, dye gels, power packs, and a desktop computer. Students are presented with a series of multiple choices testing their ability to recognize the equipment, follow the lab procedures to correctly analyze the blood samples, analyze the DNA testing results, and make the correct diagnosis.
Students are also expected to learn safety procedures such as when to wash their hands, put on a lab coat, wear nitrile gloves, dispose of contaminated waste, use the autoclavable disposal bag holder, etc.
Recently the SWIFT lab has begun setting up a new experiment using Restriction Fragment Analysis and a water bath machine, which includes a 3D animation to graphically show the RFA process.
This seminar is designed to help HKU teaching staff and administrators develop awareness of recent developments in virtual simulation technology at other universities around the world.

Please register at

About the speaker(s):

<p>Brant Knutzen is the Learning Designer for the Faculty of Education at the University of Hong Kong.&nbsp; He has been involved in eLearning for 28 years as software developer, website developer, and corporate trainer.&nbsp; He currently teaches on an MSc Education program relating to eLearning and educational leadership, and provides eLearning professional development for teaching staff.&nbsp; His research areas include the design, implementation and evaluation of highly engaging blended learning environments for schools and higher education.&nbsp; Current Moodle plugin development projects include the Participation Forum which generates a grade based on student online discussion activity, and a new learning analytic called the Participation Map, which creates a &ldquo;data portrait&rdquo; to visualize online discussion activity.&nbsp; See for more information.</p>

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