The practical work component offers unique challenges for university science courses. This is even more pertinent in an Open and Distance Learning (ODL) environment like the Bindura University of Science Education’s Virtual and Open Distance Learning (VODL) programme in Zimbabwe. Effective ODL education should be flexible enough to accommodate science disciplines with practical components. The main challenges with practical work in ODL are that students are geographically scattered and that they come from very different educational backgrounds. This article tackles the issues.