Universiteit Leiden

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Website full of interactive videos to improve your lab education

To better prepare students for their laboratory education, a team of education experts and students have created a collection of interactive videos. After launching their website labprep.video, the material is now available to everyone in higher education. Project leader Marjo de Graauw: ‘We also created a manual for anyone who wants to get started with lab education videos themselves. So, visit our website and start implementing videos in your own teaching!’

Visti the website

Give your teaching a boost with the Labprep videos!


It all started with a 100,000 euros SURF grant. With this, the team from the Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences (BFW) programme want to better prepare students for lab education. The team got help from Labbuddy, an online application for preparing and performing experiments in the lab. 

‘A lot of precious time was lost in explaining practical matters. There was hardly any time left for depth.’

‘Getting students started in the lab takes a lot of time,’ says lab instructor Linda Holtman. ‘They still have to get acquainted with the materials and techniques. They ask a lot of questions and precious lab time is often lost in explaining practical matters. Holtman: 'So there was hardly any time left for depth. Think, for example of team discussions about research results and how to interpret them. It is precisely these kinds of learning activities that lift education to a higher level.’

Making choices in a virtual lab

To better prepare students, the team created a collection of interactive videos. These videos simulate real situations in the lab and are packed with pop-up questions and choice moments. For example, students need to decide what material to use, or what action to perform. Humour plays an important role in this: if you choose to shake a bottle without the cap on, the liquid flies around. De Graauw: ‘Humour keeps you on your toes. Also, we want to teach students that experiments can go wrong and why.’ 

The team was mentored by video specialist Amber Gerritsen. ‘They turned out beautiful professional videos. The professional voice-over from the company of Quirijn Verhoog also helped ensure that. As a junior teacher, he also contributed a lot to the content and execution of the project. It really makes a huge difference when I compare it to other material available, which for example has been recorded with a mobile phone.’

Students are very enthusiastic

In two separate practicals, the team investigated the effects of interactive videos on student performance. They also asked how students had experienced the videos. Students were found to be very appreciative of the use of interactive videos. 90% of them watched the videos prior to a lab day. In doing so, they viewed the entire video including pop-up questions. Students who had watched the videos felt more confident and better organised, and they better understood how the materials worked.

The interactive nature of the videos added great value, according to the students. It made them follow the videos more attentively and understand the experiments better. One student explained: ‘Because you have to make decisions while watching the videos, you also learn what the results look like when you perform an experiment incorrectly.’ Students expressed a desire to use interactive videos in other lab practicals as well.

All video materials are public and freely available

The videos were first used in the bachelor’s programme BFW, but they can be used anywhere. De Graauw: ‘During the development, other courses within and outside our university also indicated that they wanted to use the materials.’ With the new website, the materials are now available to everyone. ‘In addition to videos, we also have many accompanying materials that are downloadable per video, such as questions, protocols, and schematic representations of experiments. Everything is free to use. When necessary, teachers can adapt videos for their own teaching using the materials we provide.’

The video team in action

Guide for teachers

Gerritsen and de Graauw also created a teacher guide with information on developing and using videos in lab education. ‘It contains everything we learned during the development of our videos,’ Gerritsen says. ‘It provides tools for others who want to use or develop videos themselves. That way they don’t have to make the same mistakes we did. De Graauw: ‘Ideally, this will be the place where everyone will share lab videos. But we will start with our own materials. We hope to inspire many colleagues this way. That way we will keep improving our teaching.’

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