OCLaRE, an Online Collaborative Lab Reporting Environment, is a web-based application for creating and completing scientific reports. It offers many tools to customize the structure of a lab, allowing users to specify every aspect of a typical experiment, including the type of data that may be entered, how the data will be analyzed, and what kind of pre-lab exercises are required to complete beforehand. Professional-looking reports, suitable for Journal publication, are generated based on the created template.
This tool aims to improve the production of laboratory reports according to the standards of the scientific and engineering communities and in terms of interpretation of results in the form of a laboratory report. OCLaRE structures information gathering, planning, analysis and report writing. Students using OCLaRE interact with partially complete reports using tools and guidelines that use critical thinking, judgment and reflection to produce a comprehensive, well-formatted report.
OCLaRE aims to reorganize the development of performance criteria for scientific programs. Thus, critical evaluation of results and the production of online lab reports according to established standards do not depend on whether the student has already achieved a certain level of skill in selecting and using available technology tools. OCLaRE has been implemented in science courses thanks to a partnership between the Chemistry and Physics departments of Cégep de la Gaspésie (GIM) and John Abbott College (JAC).
OCLARE helps students manage their resources and encourages their education by drawing attention to lighter, more authentic tasks. By sharpening their critical thinking, students will be better prepared to achieve the goals of the science program. The interdisciplinary community that emerges from this project encourages the exchange of ideas that allows the application of pedagogical theories. The teacher uses their professional experience and invites the student to refine their appreciation of the scientific process.