It has been almost eight years since we introduced the “YouTestTube” video sharing initiative to bioscience students at Ulster University. This paper describes how the project has developed over that time and is now an embedded feature of chemistry laboratory classes. The abstract follows:
This paper describes the construction and development of YouTestTube.com, a YouTube clone website to facilitate video-sharing, social networking, and reflections of chemistry laboratory classes for year one students within the School of Biomedical Sciences at Ulster University. The practice was first introduced in the 2008/09 academic year and has developed until the present time. We reflect on our findings with regard to the production and sharing of short student-generated video documentaries on laboratory experiments, and attendant social networking. We found that students enjoyed the process of viewing, rating, and commenting upon colleagues’ videos but that social networking did not happen spontaneously or organically. Students did find that learning and networking happened effectively when working in small groups to produce the final version of the video. The use of some of the videos as peer-generated learning objects was reported to be useful in helping engage year one, semester one students in their early days in tertiary education.