JoVE in Action: Using videos and animations for better student performance

Raveena Khatri, JoVE Writer | 3 min read
Raveena Khatri, JoVE Writer | 3 min read

Dr. Magdalena Wajrak, the Senior Chemistry Lecturer at the School of Science at Edith Cowan University, started using JoVE in 2021 for high-quality videos and animations to better prepare her students for lab classes. She says that JoVE videos fit well into the undergraduate chemistry units she is teaching, including Foundation of Chemistry and Advanced Physical/Inorganic Chemistry.  

“Despite various strategies such as providing detailed pre-lab instructions and physically demonstrating the experiment set-up, many students struggled with linking theoretical concepts to lab activities such as understanding the concept of the experiment and, most importantly, visualizing how to set up the equipment and interpreting instructions,” she says.

She embedded JoVE videos such as “Acid and Base Concentrations” from the Science Education Introductory Chemistry collection into OneNote Classroom Notebook “so students could watch the videos and simulations before going to the lab to help them better understand the experiment.” 

Based on the feedback received, Dr. Wajrak’s students found the videos helpful in understanding the laboratory setup and explaining chemical concepts for particular experiments. Access to simulations, videos and other digital technologies in lab classes provides students with an improved understanding of experiments, links the practice to theory, and helps visualize the experiment. Most students agreed that videos and simulations helped them understand experiments before class based on feedback. The videos effectively communicate methods, enabling students to engage with the experiments in advance and easily complete pre-lab questions.

Dr. Wajrak adds, “My only advice to other instructors is to consider using pre-lab videos and animations for all their lab classes because they help students to understand and perform better when experimenting.”

JoVE in Action is a series of blog posts highlighting how STEM educators worldwide have used JoVE to support their remote teaching efforts. We hope these stories will be helpful for instructors looking for effective ways to deliver their science and lab courses online or in hybrid formats. 

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