Instructional videos and digital technologies improves the learning experience in a practical class environment.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


In delivering Physiology teaching through the medium of ‘hands on’ practical classes for science students from multiple disciplines including Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences we aim to provide the student with an additional learning experience which emphasises the real-life applications of the scientific knowledge which we are imparting during lectures. After completing a standard 2 hr practical on the measurement of haemoglobin and haematocrit 20/52 students identified a number of aspects of the way in which the class was delivered which they felt hindered their ability to work independently through and gain the maximum insight into the theory and purpose behind each experiment. Students commented that the class was not long enough to complete the task, the pre-practical talk/demonstration did not aid their understanding or independence because the amount of information delivered vs the depth of understanding needed and they were unsure as to how to draw blood.
In order to encourage the students to work more independently and maximise the knowledge gained a number of changes were implemented: the pre-practical talk and indeed the practical itself was divided into three tasks, each task was introduced separately with an instructional video which was available for play-back on the computers by the student, the tasks were set in context and the possible implications explored on a task by task basis using digital technologies as opposed to the traditional paper based ‘lab-book’. Finally the students were then given the opportunity to analyse their results in a clinical manner with comparisons to normal ranges and by answering a number of questions which are backed up by a resource pack that the student accessed on the computer as and when they needed extra insight. Each student could then generate a report page documenting their results and answers to questions posed.
After the implementation of changes only 5/35 students reported dissatisfaction with the format, instructions or timing indicating a significant improvement. 33/35 commented that the level of pre-task instruction was ‘just right’ and that the videos were helpful during the practical while 31/35 found the digital resource pack useful. Additionally, the academic lead and demonstrators assigned to the class reported that the students appeared to work much more independently and were less inclined to ask very basic questions about the technicalities of the task.
In summary, the addition of instructional videos, coupled to a change in delivery of pre-task talks and interaction with digital resources was beneficial to the students in gaining a meaningful understanding of Physiology through hands on experience.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 28 Mar 2018


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