Published: Feb. 17, 2010

YouTube is notorious for being the Internet’s biggest site for bizarre, creative, heartfelt, and hilarious videos. People from all over the world upload their personal videos for the entertainment of others. Everyone from professional video production studios and television networks to average people use YouTube to share their videos with the world.

Students and professors at CU are making and uploading videos to YouTube for educational purposes. Graduate student Mike Pascoe chose to use the ever-popular YouTube as a medium to help students at CU learn Neurophysiology concepts and procedures with significant success. Pascoe first started creating videos, with the instructor of the course, in order to demonstrate a lab technique for an experiment in a lecture class.

“The idea was that students would watch this video during the first lecture of the course and then be able to understand all of the procedures and concepts underlying the technique; the recording of motor units during a voluntary contraction,” said Pascoe.

At first, the video was great for catching student’s attention. “The main benefit of the video was increased curiosity,” explained Pascoe. Over time, the video became an important classroom resource for the students. Because it was easily accessible from any computer, the students were able to refer to it throughout the semester as their understanding of the concepts increased.

“I was asked several questions throughout the semester about the video,” Pascoe said. “And, throughout the semester, as we covered different topics, I could use the video as a reference point ‘remember that video, how you saw that, well that is what we are seeing/discussing right now."

More and more, popular media sources are being used for educational applications. This approach to providing information is applicable to all sorts of classroom situations and could serve as a tool for any professor.

“It is simple to get started creating and uploading your own YouTube videos,” said Pascoe. “Sit down and outline what you want to convey in your video, grab a camcorder, start filming, dump the footage onto your Mac, edit in iMovie, export as an MP4, and upload to YouTube.”

See this video and examples of other homemade videos done at CU:

Pascoe Experiment

Earthquake Ground Motion Test

Roomba Pac Man Experiment

--Written by Amanda Porter, ASSETT Assistant Director