Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Wiki party - you're all invited #oerbital

OERbital I've finally started my contributions to the OeRBITAL project. Over the next few weeks I'll be adding my contributions to the Microbiology page. The OeRBITAL wiki is not open for public contributions, but I am calling here for your suggestions of good open educational resources in microbiology, so comments below please!




  1. There are lots of YouTube clips which show both practical and theoretical parts of microbiology, made by everyone from Berkeley Professors to primary school dance groups. These are certainly open educational resources, but probably heavily underused. While I have never found any textbook in any subject that I would want to 'follow' in giving a lecture, some of the talks and demonstrations on YouTube are outstanding.

  2. This is true, but I have problems with YouTube. The signal to noise ratio is extremely poor, and there aren't many channels that are sufficiently focussed so that I feel I could recommend them for this project. I'm aiming for a level of granularity above individual clips.

  3. Couldn't agree more - YouTube is like diamond mining. There are a few channels where you are reasonably sure of useful content - mainly by Universities, a few publishers and some lab. supply companies for example. But these do not have all the really useful gems for teaching.

    However, I think that short video clips cannot be ignored in you project and are some of the most exciting educational resources newly available to us. YouTube is the place to have it - YouTube works, there is no log-in, no signing up for junk mail, no learning a new interface/search format etc., unlike nearly every other video stream. Channels are not really designed to be a single theme, and the tags/likes don't have anything about level or academic rigour (unlike a .ac. or .edu on a website).

    So is the question becomes: how to review and collate YouTube clips that might be useful microbiology teaching resources after they are posted ('post-publication peer review')?

    Gatsby Plants ( have lots of extremely useful material, but the login/registration, unique interface, and difficulty of quickly scanning talks are problems to me.