Wednesday, February 11, 2015

iMovie Lab Prep Videos by Eugenia Turov, Tanya Cordes, and Kate Friesen

Every lab for Chemistry 103 and 104 has a long description about lab procedure in the manual that students were not always reading prior to attending class. To combat this issue, we filmed instructional demonstration videos of each lab experiment as well as how to set it up, and give students access to the 2-5 minute video before attending lab. The videos do not contain much theory as that is completed in lab book, textbook, and lecture, but the video does film the whole experiment, outlining what to do, what to look for, and how to set it up. 

These videos are used in all sections of CHM 103 and 104 and we are finding several benefits:
  • the videos help streamline retention for what to do with each experiment
  • students know what to expect to see in the lab
  • students ask fewer but more in-depth questions about what is happening in the experiment, rather than as many questions about the process and set-up
  • help students progress through the experiment at a sufficient pace as they recognize material from watching the video
We use a camcorder to record the video in the lab space. We then use iMovie to edit the video and dub voice over the video. We find the sound quality in the lab is not great and dubbing sound after allows to create voice for only the final edited video. The editing in iMovie also allows us to highlight things in the procedure that are good or bad, or make recommendations within the video. The final videos are hosted on an unlisted YouTube channel but embedded in each instructor's D2L course site.

We work as a team to create these videos with each member having an assigned role. Our advice to anyone that would like to create something similar is to work as a team, have assigned roles based on strengths (editor, voice, performer of experiment, etc.). Also, we suggest filming a lot of footage to then be patient with iMovie as you cut and paste the best clips into the final form. Finally, we highly recommend dubbing in voice at the end of video editing to create better sound quality. 

For more information about iMovie: Here is an example experiment video:

Submitted by Eugenia Turov, Tanya Cordes, and Kate Friesen, Chemistry