DVD offers students a visual textbook
A new DVD launched in Adelaide is the first resource of its kind to help teach university and TAFE students the practical techniques and applications of molecular biology.
The DVD - called Introduction to Molecular Techniques: Theory & Practice - is designed as a "visual textbook" for tertiary students.
The DVD contains more than two hours of video footage and animations, helping students to understand theoretical concepts, and demonstrating complex techniques step-by-step in the laboratory.
Medical, veterinary and agricultural examples are all included. The DVD also contains a printable manual.
It can be used both by lecturers to introduce practical work and theoretical concepts and by students as revision or resource material.
The commercially available DVD is the result of an eight-year collaboration between the University of Adelaide, the Molecular Plant Breeding Cooperative Research Centre and TAFE SA Veterinary and Applied Science Centre (VASC).
"This project involved scientists from industry, University and the vocational sector joining together to produce an educational tool that did not exist anywhere in the world," said Dr Amanda Able from the University of Adelaide's School of Agriculture, Food & Wine. Dr Able was one of the leaders of the DVD project along with Leanne Coombe (TAFE SA VASC) and Dr Heather Bray (Molecular Plant Breeding CRC).
"We set out with the goal of making this DVD so that it would add to students' experience, giving them both the theory and the technical instruction, so they could see how and why they do things in the lab.
"We also included troubleshooting tips showing common mistakes - what happens when it goes wrong and what to do about it.
"This is a resource that students, their lecturers and teachers can come back to time and again," she said.
"We believe the DVD would be of interest to many university and TAFE-level students around Australia and overseas, as well as to secondary school science teachers who could use it for professional development purposes."
Introduction to Molecular Techniques: Theory & Practice was launched at the National Wine Centre last month by the Chief Executive of DFEEST, Mr Raymond Garrand, and the Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Adelaide, Professor James McWha.
The DVD costs $215 (plus postage) and is available at the discount price of $95 for staff and students of the University of Adelaide and TAFE SA. It can be purchased from: www.moleculartechniques.com.au
Story by David Ellis