Digital innovations in cell biology teaching

Prof Donald Wlodkowic is a passionate educator and university teacher with a strong motivation to develop innovative undergraduate and postgraduate science teaching curricula incorporating the next generation of digital as well as immersive online learning and teaching technologies. 

He has championed innovations in transformative digital and immersive online learning technologies for science students that enhance student experience and supports belonging and digital literacy skills

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Digital Microscopy in Undergrad Bioscience Teaching

Digital technologies and the modern biology classroom experience are becoming increasingly inseparable. Bioscience and biomedical students need digital literacy skills to be successful, develop creativity, collaboration and practical problem-solving skills that are critical to prepare our students for the modern workplace. With such future-ready skills, science and bioscience graduates will be better placed to secure career opportunities across diverse sectors in a rapidly changing employment landscape

For instance, historically students spend countless hours in bioscience teaching laboratories manually re-drawing specimens on paper. This precludes them to focus on their observations and critical reasoning.

Modern digital tools free time to expand their critical thinking and explore key foundation skills that will be extended and applied in subsequent years. Moreover, adequate exposure to the latest technologies from early on in their education will translate to better prospective overall employability

To challenge the existing status quo and to deliver a next generation, transformative student experience, Prof Wlodkowic led in 2019 a successful strategic initiative at the RMIT University to introduce EVOS M5000 digital microscopes into teaching laboratories. These modern digital microscopes are used by leading research facilities and feature a portable benchtop design with an integrated computer, a large digital screen and professional features such as fluorescence, phase contrast and time-lapse.

Implementation of EVOS enabled Prof Wlodkowic to provide next stage of immersive digital and problem-based learning experiences during practical classes in cell biology teaching. This innovative technology has subsequently been adopted in teaching courses as diverse as biochemistry, microbiology, botany, zoology and ecology.

Following the implementation of EVOS, thousands of RMIT students have, for the first-time, gained access to the latest microscopy tools used by researchers and health professionals in modern laboratories.

Prof Wlodkowic championed implementation of digital EVOS M5000 microscopes in cell biology teaching.

The innovative and user friendly technology is used by many bioscience courses at the School of Science, RMIT University


Labster Interactive Simulations in Undergrad Bioscience Teaching

There are growing needs for virtual laboratory simulations that can deliver “anytime-&-anywhere” learning experience that simulate authentic laboratory activities. Such virtual technologies can provide an invaluable asset for teaching especially for very large cohorts in year 1 and 2 where limited resources and access to laboratories provides a significant obstacle to at-scale teaching of cutting-edge practical skills and technologies.

Most teaching laboratories for students are restricted due to time and cost reasons leading to historically low student motivation, lack of scientific curiosity and engagement that represent important factors effecting future employability of graduates

In 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic led to an immediate halt of face-to-face teaching (including all practical laboratory science) around the world. To overcome this challenge, Prof Wlodkowic recognised that virtual lab simulations provided an outstanding opportunity to provide students with a high-quality online learning experience that could be applied at scale in place of traditional practicals.

He has pioneered and championed the implementation of Labster (a suite of fully interactive, virtual laboratory simulations) for online STEM teaching and learning at RMIT University.

Labster next-generation gamified simulations shift crucial practical education into the virtual realm. They allow for a high-quality distant online teaching where students can complete complex laboratory experiments, explore concepts and theories in a safe and highly engaging and immersive environment while not only meeting but also exceeding most of teaching objectives.

Since 2020 COVID pandemics Laster has been used by over 2500 bioscience students at RMIT University.


Prof Wlodkowic pioneered large scale implementation of Labster interactive laboratory simulations in Australia.

Since 2020 COVID pandemics Laster has been used by over 2500 bioscience students at RMIT University.