Using a Micropipette
The idea behind this project was to introduce students to the operation of micropipettes before using them in the laboratory. Students can first watch the vidcast to see how to operate the instrument, then complete the Flash simulation. After completing these teaching tools, the students should have a familiarity with the micropipette making the laboratory assignment easier to complete.
To create the vidcast, I used a digital recorder to record my laboratory instructor performing the laboratory assignment. The recording was downloaded to my computer using Windows Movie Maker (WMM), an application that is currently part of the Windows XP and Vista operating systems. (It is reported that WMM will not be released with Windows 7, but it will be a free download from Microsoft's website).
I used Camtasia to edit the video and add the narration. Before recording the narration, I wrote a script to follow. I met with Paul Hyde of Academic Technology Services (ATS) to learn how to use WMM. Becky Kinney, also of ATS, showed me how to use Camtasia. Both applications are rather easy to learn. Not including the recording time, it probably took about 4 hours to complete the vidcast. I have subsequently completed other vidcasts for this course. As I became more familiar with Camtasia, it took less time to create the vidcasts. In the fall semester when this course is offered, students will be required to watch the vidcasts before attending lab. The vidcasts are stored in Sakai.
Click on Help in the simulation to read how to control the micropipette.
Becky Kinney created the Flash simulation. I provided her with the content and tested the site at various stages of development. It took us several weeks to complete the project. The simulation keeps track of student movements and assigns a grade based on their skill in using the micropipette. The student scores are then emailed to me.