Learner Spotlight: Johnathan Cook

A student visits LabXchange.org on a laptop.Amidst this pandemic, most students have been transitioned to remote learning, where they face a new reality.

This reality has proven disruptive for many students, and it can have a large impact on their learning processes and outcomes. As an undergraduate student myself, I know that my learning environment has changed dramatically. The ways in which I learn and demonstrate knowledge have also shifted due to limitations caused by the pandemic.

Part of my role at LabXchange is bringing a student’s perspective to the content on the platform, as well as helping students navigate the many ways in which they can benefit from the wide array of functionalities the platform offers. LabXchange recognizes that—beyond benefiting from the platform—students have much to offer themselves, both in terms of their own knowledge and the ways in which they can shape the education process the platform seeks to cultivate.A student uses a laptop to visit LabXchange.org.

One challenge students now face with this new reality is a limited ability to demonstrate the knowledge they have accumulated in their classes to their teachers, their fellow students, and themselves. Demonstrating knowledge has been especially challenging for students who learn best in creative ways, as opportunities have been limited without a physical environment to facilitate these creative processes.

Because LabXchange offers a wide array of content creation tools to suit learners’ particular needs and interests, I thought that such tools could provide meaningful ways for students to demonstrate their knowledge, and contribute to their learning and that of their peers. I wrote this article to help students think creatively about how they could use the content creation tools on LabXchange to demonstrate what they have learned, and to share their personal content with others, as valuable contributors to the scientific field.

Although I don’t study science myself, I’m interested in education outside the classroom and the ways in which different learning platforms can help students learn in new ways tailored to their personal interests. Since learning about LabXchange and its diverse functionality, I desired to contribute to the work of the platform.

I am eager to seek students’ input to help mold LabXchange according to their intellectual needs and interests, and hope to continue to help students use the platform as a learning tool.