Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Fifth International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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Lights, camera, action: Microbiology laboratory teaching in the spotlight
Katrina Lacey, J. Gerard Wall

Last modified: 25-06-2019


Broadening of access to higher education, leading to increasing class sizes, presents particular challenges in teaching specialised, laboratory-based subjects such as Microbiology. The Republic of Ireland has seen a 20% increase in undergraduate student numbers in the past ten years, with this trend set to continue in the near future. To complement traditional learning approaches, we have designed, produced and trialled a comprehensive suite of teaching videos that demonstrate common techniques taught in our Microbiology degree programme. The 42 videos, each of 4-9 minutes duration, were filmed in-house using a professional film maker. Videos were designed for viewing before linked laboratory sessions to increase student engagement, assist learners with little prior technical experience to process core concepts, and improve the quality of hands-on practical training in the laboratory. Student reaction to a pilot release was exceptionally positive, underlining the videos’ effectiveness for visual learners and the added value of the content due to its bespoke nature. The complete video collection will be amalgamated into our B.Sc. programme in 2019-20. The initiative is expected to enhance students’ experience in hands-on laboratory sessions, promote active learning by blending video into traditional teaching programmes, and support reflective study through their availability.

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