Interactive videos demonstrating Lab procedures
Year of Project: 21-22
Number of student partners: 3
Number of staff partners: 2
Length of project: Four weeks
Weekly time commitment for student: Full-time for four weeks.
Read Silke's 'Stories of Partnership' experience within this project here.
Read Hiroko's 'Stories of Partnership' experience within this project here.
Our project set out to improve teaching material for the year 1 students in the BSc Medical Biosciences (BMB) programme in the Faculty of Medicine. The interactive videos showing laboratory techniques with knowledge checks were piloted in the previous year as an additional resource for the students to understand techniques, before coming to the laboratory. They were well received with very positive feedback. However, as these were created by staff with extensive laboratory experience, they lacked the input from students which was essential for a greater level of utility.
Being part of this project has greatly enhanced our own learning and teaching experiences.
We started the project with an ideas sharing session where staff and student partners shared their experiences from the labs, like techniques students found difficult or common mistakes. Each member of the team took responsibility for some of those mini-projects to create new videos or to fill gaps in existing videos, which involved planning, writing playscripts as well as executing four-full days of filming in the lab together with our expert videographer. Students starred as actors demonstrating procedures, edited raw footage, and recorded voice overs to produce the final videos or inserted close-ups into existing videos. The videos were uploaded on Panopto with captions for accessibility and knowledge checks were added. Also, quick access links to jump to a specific section were added to allow students to use the videos to review/conduct a specific step of experiments.
Additionally, an instructional video about how to scan and submit the lab book as one of the in-course assessments of the Lab Pod 1 (LP1) course was generated with the aim to reduce anxiety and technical difficulties students experienced previously. The team also generated other materials like illustrations and animations to supplement the information provided on the LP1 manual and a glossary to introduce students to equipment and vocabulary specific to the laboratory environment. The videos not only highlight common student errors and good practice as well as close-ups of particularly difficult experimental steps and what to look out for when performing those techniques. They also minimise the anxiety of students who often have never worked in a research laboratory by allowing them to watch them at home to prepare for the sessions. Furthermore, it represents a long-lasting resource as students have reported that they often go back to the LP1 manual in year 2 even during year 3 when conducting their research project.
Teachers gained useful insights into student perspectives and a better understanding of what concepts are difficult for them.
Being part of this project has greatly enhanced our own learning and teaching experiences. Students gained insight into how teaching material is produced, and learned to evaluate information to tailor it to the audience. They also felt they now have a deeper understanding of the techniques, while in parallel developing new skills like video making. Teachers gained useful insights into student perspectives and a better understanding of what concepts are difficult for them.