Coronavirus response: transitioning hands-on bioanthropology labs to online teaching

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, are you now required to migrate your in-person lecture and hands-on lab courses to an online format? Videoing our lectures is one thing, but producing meaningful online interactive labs that can replace hands-on labs is another, and this requirement is especially challenging at the introductory level.

Nearly 25 years ago, John Kappelman and colleagues at The University of Texas at Austin developed Virtual Laboratories for Physical Anthropology. Virtual Labs offer a full semester of interactive materials that include the entire range of topics covered in an introductory course (see intro screen capture); furthermore, the subset of five labs on human evolution are sufficiently detailed that they can be assigned for an upper division course on human evolution.

John is happy to make the 4th edition of Virtual Labs available free to anyone who would like to adopt them so that faculty can finish out this semester and still provide their students with a solid learning experience. (Virtual Labs is currently being updated for a 5th edition that they will likely self-publish.) He can also make available problem sets, with these questions now migrated to Canvas; the combination of these materials should greatly ease the required transition to online teaching for US and foreign colleagues.

If you are interested, please email John ( and he will provide you with access so you can see if Virtual Labs might meet your needs. If you decide to adopt Virtual Labs, email John so that he can set things up and provide access to your students.