JoVE Helps Educators and Scientists Worldwide Shift to Remote Laboratory Work

Supriya Kamath, JoVE Writer | 6 min read
Supriya Kamath, JoVE Writer | 6 min read

CAMBRIDGE, MA, August 18, 2020 — As institutions worldwide implement remote and hybrid forms of instruction and scientific research, JoVE is helping many science, engineering, and medicine instructors and scientists face up to a difficult challenge: shifting their teaching and research labs online.

For students and educators, lab classes are an integral component of science instruction: they improve students’ comprehension of complex concepts and equip them with the research skills required for a career in science. As a result, when science courses are taught virtually, finding an effective alternative to in-person lab work is critical. With a library of over 12,000 video demonstrations of real lab experiments, experimental methods and core concepts across several STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines, JoVE has been serving as that alternative for educators worldwide.

Dr. Geoff Lin-Cereghino, professor of biological sciences at the University of the Pacific, is one of many instructors who have used JoVE videos to bring their labs online. For one of his biology classes, he used a video from JoVE Research – a library of peer-reviewed scientific research and experiments published in video and text form. “The video article communicated the same basic concepts on DNA transformation of yeast as the original in-person lab and was the best substitute which I could find on the internet for my in-person lab,” he said.

JoVE also offers JoVE Education: a library of high-impact animations and real-life demonstrations of key scientific concepts and research methods. JoVE Education includes the JoVE Lab Manual which is designed to streamline undergraduate lab courses. Currently offering manuals in biology and chemistry, JoVE Lab Manual provides three different videos for each experiment, which describe lab preparation, underlying concepts, and experimental procedures.

For Dr. Paolo Caraceni, associate professor in the Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences at the Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna, JoVE Education’s clinical skills content has proved particularly valuable for teaching practicum courses. “I've been using the Clinical Skills series in several academic courses for years now,” he wrote. “Together with my colleagues and students (they love it!) we have found those videos always extremely useful, even more in this difficult period as we are using them for the online clinical internship.”

JoVE not only serves as a remote teaching tool but also as a remote research tool. Detailed videos of cutting-edge experiments and standard protocols help researchers learn these methods remotely, without on-site demonstrations; then, once in the lab, they can be carried out efficiently. Moreover, as researchers plan for future projects, JoVE Journal (a multi-disciplinary peer reviewed scientific video journal) also allows them to stay up-to-date with the latest scientific research, with video demonstrations of novel methods that allow easy visualization.

In addition to videos, JoVE is also offering other resources to facilitate research and teaching. “We are humbled to see hundreds of thousands of faculty and scientists using JoVE as a resource for online lab instruction and remote research, and in this challenging period of transition, we want to provide further support,” said Dr. Moshe Pritsker, founder and CEO of JoVE. “To this end, we have introduced customizable JoVE video playlists, which can be mapped to specific courses. We hope that this new functionality will help streamline the process of effectively incorporating video into classes and labs.”

Video playlists are created by JoVE’s 100+ on-staff Ph.D.’s, and can be customized to meet various teaching and training needs. These interactive lists of JoVE videos can be curated to support particular syllabi, learning outcomes or lesson plans. Playlists made for a certain course or training module can also be shared with students, lab staff or other colleagues for ease of access. Instructors can find playlists of JoVE videos mapped to syllabi for commonly-taught science courses on the JoVE Faculty Resource Center

The introduction of playlists marks another step by JoVE towards supporting educators and researchers who are implementing lab exercises and lab work online. The JoVE content library will continue to expand to further support both research labs and educators teaching a diverse variety of STEM courses, whether in online, in-person or hybrid classrooms.

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