How JoVE videos help boost students’ confidence in the laboratory

Raveena Khatri
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The use of videos in instruction has become increasingly common in science courses worldwide. Step-by-step video demonstrations of experiments help students become familiar with the method & equipment before entering the lab.  When students can visualize an experiment or demonstration in advance of a lab course, familiarity with the method helps them feel more confident about performing it. 

A survey conducted for Kaltura’s 7th Annual report about the State of Video in Education, suggests students often seek video explanations of complex topics on YouTube or Google, ahead of examinations (Kaltura, 2020). Therefore, by providing access to JoVE videos, librarians and faculty may be able to ensure that students only utilize peer-reviewed content, especially for pre-lab science videos by providing them with good quality science video resources.

“JoVE is a great resource for students to see scientists in action, including demonstrations of instrumentation and proper technique. It also offers a great way to introduce real-life applications of methods that would at times be too expensive or impractical in a teaching lab, which generally has very limited time available, says Dr. Kristian Schlick, Instructor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Montana State University. He further added that “From an instructor’s perspective, I thoroughly enjoy the addition of the “lab manuals” JoVE has, as this neatly separates sections so that students can better visualize components of a lab report. With the instructor prep area, these seem to be easily adaptable for in-person labs. These make for great pre-lab assignments so that students are better prepared and know what to expect, which means students will also be safer.”

To answer: How do JoVE videos help boost students’ confidence in the laboratory? we’ve brought together peer-reviewed research and case studies:

1.Students watch a step-by-step video demonstration of the experiment

Videos can be re-watched multiple times, helping to reinforce learning and resolve students’ misconceptions, if any.

In a peer-reviewed study conducted in biology courses at DeSales University and Clemson University, students who watched a JoVE video performed up to 100% better on pre-lab and post-lab assessments compared to students who only read the lab handouts.

2. They become familiar with the equipment and protocol for complex topics

With high-impact animations and real experiments performed by scientists, JoVE videos engage and excite students by bringing science to life, and fit a mobile-first culture better than the traditional text-based lab manual. 

In a survey conducted in a biology course at St. John’s University in New York, 84.9% of students surveyed found JoVE Core videos to be a useful supplement to their course material. 

3. Videos improve students’ understanding of lab exercises and they come to the lab prepared for success

Along with step-by-step demonstrations of lab techniques, JoVE videos also explain the theory behind each experiment, helping students bridge the gap between concepts and their real-life applications. 

Kelly Grossman Getz, a STEM Librarian at Eastern Michigan University, says “JoVE videos reduce anxiety by allowing students to watch and understand laboratory methods before tackling the psychomotor challenges of physical lab work. This promotes productivity by flipping the classroom – students learn techniques outside the class then put what they learned into practice during lab work, saving both time and resources.”

As the JoVE library continues to grow, the scientific community continues to make the most of our world-leading resources. See how JoVE can support your needs today!