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Stephen McClean School of Biomedical Sciences University of Ulster Blog:

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1 Stephen McClean School of Biomedical Sciences University of Ulster Blog: Encouraging student social networking by creating and sharing laboratory reflective video documentaries

2 What Prompted This Practice? We wanted to… Promote student engagement Prompt reflection on practical work Engender inclusivity in a large year one group Provide additional skills / enhance employability skills Image Source:

3 Introductory Chemistry service teaching module Provides foundational chemistry for further study in biochemistry, clinical biochemistry, molecular biology etc. Taken by students in Biology, Biomedical Sciences, Dietetics, Food and Nutrition, Human Nutrition Average of 140+ students in each academic year The context:

4 I hope she read the protocol before lab because I didnt! I hope he read the protocol before lab because I didnt! Student Engagement in the Lab

5 Social interaction was highlighted by students as one of the better features of university laboratory classes Students claim they sometimes do not see the relevance of practical sessions Practicals are time & resource-intensive teaching sessions How can we add value to the lab experience? Can we extend the lab experience? Collis et al 2007 Report: The Student View of 1 st Year Laboratory Work in Biosciences. Centre for Bioscience. Collis et al 2008 Bioscience Education electronic Journal, volume 11.

6 You Tube TM has been used and evaluated as a teaching tool (Skiba, 2007; Agazio & Buckley, 2009; Jones and Cuthrell, 2011) Auditory/verbal and visual/pictorial stimuli increase students memory, comprehension and deeper learning of a topic than when either stimulus is used by itself. Berk (2009) Background….

7 To prompt critical reflection during and after practical classes to help students to engage better with practical work, see how the material relates to lectures and fits with the course content as a whole To develop a website to facilitate video sharing and social networking thereby engendering friendship networks in a large and diverse first year group Specific Objectives…


9 Materials & Methods 5 x Video Cameras (though students often used their own) 1 x Webserver software (to make a You Tube clone site) Video conversion software ( Domain name (

10 Materials & Methods (continued) Students (in groups of 3 or 4) make a short (less than 10 minutes duration) video about one of their practicals A reflective prompt sheet is provided to each group as to what should be included in the video Final video is published following editing on the website

11 Materials & Methods (continued) Students join the Chemistry Practicals Group on Students may then view, rate & comment on their colleagues videos They may also make friends as part of the social networking aspect of the site. A prize for the most Popular and Highly Rated videos.

12 What is this practical all about? What skills have I developed? How does this practical tie-in with the lectures? How will this be important for other parts of my course? Reflective Prompts

13 What parts of the practical were difficult? What was most/least enjoyable about the practical? If someone else was about to conduct this experiment; what advice (about the practical) would I give them? Reflective Prompts

14 Students given a tutorial on the use of Windows Live Movie Maker to edit video (available on all University computers) Many how to tutorials available on You Tube TM, eg: Some students chose to use other tools eg iMovie Students given direction on how to upload the video to the site Final Production of Video Image source:


16 But Was it Any Good…? Feedback received from students via anonymous questionnaire Via staff-student consultative meetings Via evaluative comments when completing their assignment on The Experience Feedback from the Ed Wood Award (Bioscience Teacher of the Year) process in 2009/10 Further evaluation in 2012/13

17 Evaluation Statements Were You Initially Apprehensive About Making Videos? Was the Camera Easy to Use? Did You Enjoy Making Video? Did the Process Make You Think More About the Practical? Did You Enjoy Viewing Colleagues Videos? Did You Find the YouTestTube Site Easy to Use? Did the Exercise Help You to Make Friends? Evaluation Statements 2008/09 Academic Year Total respondents n = 105 McClean, Stephen and Hagan, William (2010) '': using user-generated video to engage students. Perspectives on Pedagogy and Practice, 1. pp



20 Feedback from the Ed Wood Award Process Some students (panel group and surveyed) would have liked to view the previous years videos. Student panel members were hesitant to provide critical comments in a public forum but said if they privately viewed a video they would.

21 Student feedback from the 2012/13 academic year…. We asked about initial impressions, positives and negatives, editing videos, new skills, challenges, social networking, impact on learning…..

22 Positive Comments from students… Good way to learn from peers Good way to get to know people in the group Helps with understanding the practical Useful being able to develop skills in practicals Fun!

23 Negative Comments from students… Time Consuming (capturing video & editing)! Stressful trying to capture video and do practical work Issues with group member contributions Some issues with technology / navigating site / uploading videos Dont like appearing on camera Only get involved in the social networking because they are asked to

24 Other Uses of the YouTestTube site Year 1 Bioanalytical Chemistry module, embedding and sharing videos on the topic of proteomics MSc Students embedded, shared and discussed videos on aspects of mass spectrometry / proteomics with peers on the module

25 Thoughts Towards Developing Your Own Video Resource Build your own site and host it yourself using free software such as Vidiscript or PHPMotion Advantages: Create your own branding to a tailored video site. You have control over all content, membership of groups etc. Can be completely closed to the outside world. Set up your own blogs, discussion groups and host teaching materials. No time restriction! Disadvantages: Requires some technical knowledge on how to set up the software and hosting of the site.

26 Thoughts Towards Developing Your Own Video Resource Explore the options available on your institutional VLE Advantages: You have control over all content, membership of groups etc. Integrates with other learning materials, familiar environment for students. Options such as Kaltura offer campus You Tube Disadvantages: May be cost implications eg Kaltura.

27 Thoughts Towards Developing Your Own Video Resource Develop your own channel on You Tube Advantages: No cost. Relatively straightforward to set up No knowledge of coding or web design required No concerns about bandwidth usage or webspace. Disadvantages: No Group functions on You Tube. Authentication of students may be an issue. Student perceptions of using a branded social networking site for educational use.

28 …. All you really need! Access to a few cameras or ask students to use their own phones / cameras (Free) Use Windows Live Movie Maker for Editing (Free) – or similar free product Utilise free online tutorials to support students in editing video Ask students to bring their final videos to class on a memory stick so that everyone else can view, comment and learn from them. Have go yourself! Image credit:

29 Acknowledgements Students on BMS105, especially Sean Denny, Victoria Morrow and Jackelyn Scott Kenny McCartan Olivier Riché Nigel McDowell Sheryl Meskin Sharon Malcolm More about YouTestTube at:

30 Image credit: Agazio, J. & Buckley, K.M. (2009) An Untapped Resource: Using YouTube in Nursing Education Nurse Educator. 34, Berk, R.A. (2009) Multimedia Teaching with Video Clips: TV, Movies, YouTube, and mtvU in the College Classroom, International Journal of Technology in Teaching and Learning. 5, Collis, M., Gibson, A., Hughes, I.E., Sayers, G. & Todd, M. (2008) The Student View of 1st year Laboratory Work in the Biosciences - Score Gamma? Bioscience Education e-Journal 11 Collis, M., Gibson, A., Hughes, I.E., Sayers, G. & Todd, M. (2007) Report: The Student View of 1st Year Laboratory Work in Biosciences., Higher Education Academy, UK Centre for Bioscience, Leeds.. Retrieved online on 8/8/11 at Jones, T. & Cuthrell, K. (2011) YouTube: Educational Potentials and Pitfalls Computers in the Schools 28, Skiba, D.J. (2007) Nursing Education 2.0: YouTube TM Nursing Education Perspectives 28, References

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