Online Lab Submission
Students: Instructors: Virtual Labs: Pre-Lab Assignments
Interactive Animations:

Uploading Images

Images that become part of a student's lab report are obtained in several ways:

  1. the image is captured from a computer screen (Snipping Tool or Grab Tool)
  2. the image is captured with a phone

The specific details of how to upload an image are found on the lab report webpage under a More Information link . . . . note that "additional information" like how to upload an image is hidden so as not to take up too much "real-estate" on the lab report webpage. Also, this information is completely customizable by the lab instructor to fit your specific implementation.

Draw the image

  1. SketchPad is an easy to use web-based drawing program where the drawing can be edited after it has been drawn.  There are YouTube videos to help you use the site or you can click here.
  2. Draw the image on paper using ink or a Sharpie - do not draw your answer with a pencil.

Upload the image (web-based drawings)

  1. Open the Snipping Tool (click on the Start button and type Snipping Tool in the search box). For MAC OS press Command-Shift-F4 (screenshot) or use the Grab feature located in Applications → Utilities folder.

    Snipping Tool Directions:
  2. Use the Mode drop down menu (to the right of New) to select Rectangular Snip.
  3. Click and drag a rectangle to select just the image or portion of the screen that contains the image - don't include extra white space.
  4. Paste or Save / Upload your image file
    • Paste (Chrome / Firefox browsers): click the Edit tab in the Snipping Tool. Click Copy. Click in the grey box below and press Ctrl-V simultaneously.
    • Save/Upload: From the File menu on the Snipping Tool screen select Save As and save your file as a png. Upload the png file by clicking the Choose File button (below) and finding this image in your computer's file structure.
  5. Complete the Upload by clicking the Submit button in the right side panel - the image will display in the space below.

Upload the image (hand drawings)

  1. Use your phone to take a picture of the image. Zoom in so that the image fills the screen.
  2. Log into your Chem21Labs account from your phone (open a browser, go to and login).
  3. Upload the image from your phone by clicking the Choose File button below and find the image in your phone's photo album.  If necessary, crop the photo to remove unnecessary white space or material.
  4. Alternatively, you can send the image to your email account, save the image to your computer's hard drive, and then upload the image from your computer to this webpage.
  5. Complete the Upload by clicking the Submit button in the right side panel - the image will display in the space below.

Rotate / Replace the image

  1. If the image is not oriented properly, use the Rotate Left and Rotate Right links. 
  2. If you need to replace the image, use the Change Image link.

Your TA / Instructor will view this image after the last submission date has passed and enter a grade based on the work shown in the picture. Note:  If the image or answer to this question isn't clear in the uploaded file, your Instructor / TA will not be able to award full credit for this answer. Here are some steps to take to make your image more readable:

  • Enlarge the image on your computer screen so it fills most of the screen, then use the Snipping Tool to capture the image.
    • Enlarge by pressing Ctrl and '+' keys simultaneously.
    • Reduce by pressing Ctrl and '-' keys simultaneously.
    • Return to 100% by pressing Ctrl and '0' keys simultaneously.
  • Move hand-drawn images to an area with plenty of light and zoom-in when taking the picture.

Instructors have used the Chem21Labs' image upload feature to view a wide-ranging array of student lab work:

  1. Lab Scavenger Hunt (students take pictures of the eye-wash, safety shower, fire extinguisher, etc)
  2. Thin-layer chromatography plate or paper chromatogram
  3. Buret reading
  4. Titration endpoint
  5. Lewis structure
  6. Sampling Site (water analysis lab)
  7. Flowchart
  8. Excel graph (titled and axes labeled)
  9. Organic Mechanism
  10. Organic Synthesis
  11. Melting point (verification of initial melting point and when the sample is 95% melted)
  12. Document distance-lab activities

Uploaded images are graded exactly like essays by the TA / Instructor.

Excel Graph

TLC Plate

Although the slope, y-intercept, etc. are graded automatically when submitted by the student, most Instructors want to see the final graph to make sure it is titled properly with the axes labeled.

Upload a picture of the silica or alumina plate and avoid the mess. This plate was photographed under UV light.

Excel graph of Absorbance vs. Riboflavin Concentration.
Silica Thin-layer chromatography plate under UV light.

Titration Endpoint

Water Sample Site

The endpoint color grade can be assigned by viewing a picture of the student's flask at the titration endpoint.

Students snap a photo of the site where they obtained a water sample for an analysis lab. The University of Kentucky has mined the student data stored in the Chem21Labs database from their Analysis of Water Quality lab. An interactive water quality map of the water supply surrounding Lexington, Kentucky can be found here (uncheck all the tests except one before clicking on a data point).

Phenolphthalein endpoint.

Water sample site for a lab where students were to bring in a water sample.

Lewis Structure

Organic Mechanism

Students upload a photo of a hand-drawn Lewis Structure or they can upload a screen shot of a computer-drawn Lewis structure.

Students upload a photo of a hand-drawn mechanism.

The Lewis structure of carbon tetrachloride.

The E2 mechanism showing anti and periplanar geometry.

Verification of Melting Point

In Organic chemistry, one of the fastest methods for determining product purity is its melting point range. Unfortunately, this "self-reported" value is unreliable since the melting point range of the expected product is generally known for most labs. In some schools, a TA will verify the melting point ranges of the student's samples - a tedious and time-consuming activity. An alternative verification process can be implemented while the student is determining the melting point range of their compound . . . . the student is instructed to take a picture of the compound (and digital readout) when the compound first begins to melt and again when it is 95% melted.

The melting point of an organic compound just as it begins to melt and later when it is 95% melted.