Digital Labs and Activities

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, many institutions are pivoting to online and digital instruction. There are many resources available for moving class lectures, assignments, and assessments online such as:
Select Resources for Quickly Handling the COVID-19 Online Pivot*

Remote Teaching Resource Group

Higher Ed and Corona Virus

However, wet labs, CUREs, and inquiry-based activities such as those in Tiny Earth require additional thought and input. We are actively compiling resources and ideas for you to consider using as you reconfigure your inquiry-based Tiny Earth labs. If you have ideas to share, please send them to Sarah Miller or @sarahmilleruw on twitter for consideration to be added to this list.

General Resources for Digital Science and Labs
Specific Ideas for Digital Tiny Earth Labs or Activities

**Not all of these are open to the public. If you are interested in becoming a Tiny Earth Partner Instructor (TEPI), you can apply for the training at For more info on Tiny Earth:

General Ideas for Digital Labs or Activities (including CUREs)
  • Biology/microbiology: 
    • Film data collection and have students score videos or work with previously collected data using online dissections. Focus on data analysis and write-up where possible. Microbiology example: Have students request a particular microbiology test, then provide students with a picture of a “result plate” of the test they requested so they’ll have to analyze the data and decide the next test. They just won’t be streaking their own plates.
  • General STEM:
    • If students are working on a common project, the instructor can carry it out and provide data to students
    • Use online modules that are similar / allow for inquiry, such as
    • Give students prior datasets to collect and analyze
    • If students are doing separate projects, have them write them up to share anonymously with the class and then vote for the top choice that the instructor carries out and shares data with the class to analyze and draw conclusions
    • Shift to writing proposals for what they could do based on review and synthesis of literature
General Open Educational Resources (OER) and Teaching Guidance
Science-specific Educational Resources (including COVID-19 content)
Recommendations for Lab Group Operations
Accessibility Considerations
Twitter/Instagram Accounts
  • @tinyearthnet
  • @curenet1
  • @erindolan1
  • @sarahmilleruw
  • @globalhighered
Facebook Accounts

This is an ongoing community effort – thank you!

Compiled by Sarah Miller, Tiny Earth Executive Director, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Created March 12, 2020. Last updated March 16, 2020.
Short URL to this as a Google doc:

Credit for contributions:
Tiny Earth Partner Instructors (TEPIs) Kris Olds, Suzanne Dove, Ana Barral, SABER community, Sydney Thomas, Angelo Kolokithas, Marc Chevrette, Nichole Broderick, Jennifer Heinritz, Leanna Wilson, Monica Hall-Woods, Enid Gonzalez-Orta, Kristin Labby, Katherine Maloney, Deepa Acharya, John Martin, Timmo Dugdale, Tomorrow’s Professor / Rick Reid, Nancy Ruggeri, Heather Bleakley, Steel Wagstaff

Please let me know if I missed anyone or if corrections need to be made to the content.

This document of shared ideas and the spirit of inquiry and discovery it supports is dedicated to Heather Allen, who passed away on March 7, 2020. She was one of the good ones.