In the video "The Go-Lab Initiative", Ton de Jong, coordinator of the Next-Lab project, explains how the idea of the Go-Lab ecosystem came about and developed, as well as Go-Lab's related projects and upcoming plans.

Summary of the video: The Go-Lab Initiative

How did the idea of the Go-Lab ecosystem come about? Which projects are affiliated with it? Where did it all start and where is it heading?

Why choose inquiry learning?

The need for engaging Science and Engineering instruction was evident in academic publications and reports in both the USA and EU. The positive effects of engaged learning on students’ motivation and the development of (deep) conceptual knowledge have been verified in multiple studies. Go-Lab focuses on a specific form of engaged learning; inquiry learning. With inquiry learning, students gain knowledge by formulating research questions and performing investigations and data analyses to test and answer these questions.

Why choose technology and online labs?

To support students learn as “scientists”, Go-Lab decided to use technology to provide them with the means and resources to complete their investigations. Research into the use of technologies in the classroom showed that the most popular applications for technology simply used the traditional methods of teaching and integrated them with technology. For instance, applications for drill and practice replacing the drill and practice paper assignments, the use of Whiteboards only for projection or simply as traditional boards, the development of MOOCs replacing courses… However, technology should help improve teaching methods, and not only replace their forms.

Online laboratories or Online Labs help teachers and students make use of technology to go beyond traditional teaching methods. Online Labs offer new possibilities for discovering and learning. Compared to real labs, online Labs have several advantages; they are safer, enable faster experimentation, can be cheaper, can offer an augmented view and make abstract concepts more concrete.

Go-Lab’s development overview

Preceding projects that influenced and lead to the first Go-Lab project:

  • SimQuest, discovery learning
  • SCO, Science Created by YOU
  • ROLE

2012-2016: Go-Lab project, sponsored by the EU’s FP7 Framework Programme

  • November 2012: putting together few Labs and Apps from different providers
  • January 2014: 1st Go-Lab review, creation of mock-ups for Inquiry Learning Spaces (ILSs)
  • January 2015: 2nd Go-Lab review, creation of initial interfaces for the authoring platform (Graasp) and the ILS.
  • December 2016: End of the Go-Lab project, release of the sharing and authoring platforms.

2017-2019: Next-Lab project, sponsored by the EU’s H2020 Programme

  • June 2018: 1st Next-Lab review, release of the updated (and current) platform.
  • May 2019: release of the updated view of the authoring platform ( Increase in the number of Apps created by the consortium.

Some of the current projects based on the Go-Lab ecosystem:

  • GOGA, Go-Lab Goes Africa, Benin, Kenya, Nigeria
  • TW1ST, 21st century skills for technical education, Netherlands
  • TIWI, Teaching ICT with Inquiry, Lithuania
  • Next-Lab Taiwan
  • Quantum Physics: learning impossibilities the experiential way, Netherlands

Go-Lab’s current status

Go-Lab Sharing and Support platform ( includes more than 600 Labs provided by different international providers (virtual, remote and data sets), a collection of more than 40 Apps (supporting inquiry, experimentation, communication, and reflection), and more than 1000 published Inquiry Learning Spaces (ILSs) created by teachers and experts. In an ILS, a teacher combines Labs, Apps and other resources (images, videos, articles…) to create an online lesson to share with the students. Other teachers can copy and adapt these published ILSs to re-use with their students. In order to create their online lessons or ILSs, and put together the different resources, teachers can use Graasp (, Go-Lab’s Authoring and Learning platform.

Go-Lab Impact (until June 2019)

  • > 600 online labs
  • > 40 apps
  • > 1000 published ILSs
  • 18.000 sessions per month
  • 31.000 registrations at the authoring platform
  • 1.880 ILSs created and used in the classroom; reaching almost 90.000 students

The future of Go-Lab. What’s next?

The most important goal is the sustainability and further development of the Go-Lab ecosystem. Go-Lab will be sustainable by:

  • New projects
  • Cooperation with commercial lab providers
  • Offering commercial courses
  • Go-Lab premium membership for schools

Go-Lab will stay there for FREE! Commercial options, services and packages will be offered additionally.

If you are interested to learn more about the project, its initiatives, services and cooperation opportunities, please contact us at:

You can read more about the Go-Lab Initiative here: