Microbial vodcasting – supplementing laboratory time with vodcasts of key microbial skills
AbstractFirst-year microbiology practical classes can be chaotic environments with more than 30 inexperienced laboratory users in close proximity to microbial cultures and flames from bunsen burners. Whilst Charles Sturt University (CSU) prides itself on giving first year students extensive hands-on experience, time constraints and class size can make it difficult to ensure every student receives adequate individual attention as required for the development of competency in key microbiological skills. To address these issues, we provided an introductory microbiology class (N=277) with short videos demonstrating key microbiological skills. The subject serves eight courses: Clinical Science, Forensic Biotechnology, Health Science (Nutrition and Dietetics), Medical Science, Pharmacy, Science and Animal Science. Further, 29 of the 277 students were distance education students who completed the practical component during a four-day residential school. The vodcasts were designed to give each student access to demonstration of key microbiological skills as performed by a highly-skilled individual. Towards the end of the semester, a survey was administered to all students to gauge their use of the vodcasts and their perceptions of how the vodcasts assisted their development of skills or understanding of key concepts. This paper describes the process of developing and delivering the vodcasts and provides an evaluation of their suitability as identified by their consumers, the students.