Microscope Tutorial

University of Oxford
Earth Sciences Department

The University of Oxford’s Earth Sciences Department is a world-leading scientific research, development and educational facility. Oxford University contracted 33DEGREES to produce an educational video.

Services: Educational Photo & Video, Scripting, Content Creation, Publishing

The Problem

University of Oxford’s Earth Science approached us with a simple but frustrating problem – too many microscopes were accidentally broken by students. Whilst every student receives a demonstration when they first join the University, skill-fade sets in, and they fail to properly set up, use and put away the microscopes correctly in the weeks and months that follow. This, of course, leads to broken lab equipment and substantial repair bills to rectify defects.

After understanding their problem, several solutions were proposed to help remedy their situation. Noting that feedback from students was often that a lab supervisor wasn’t always readily available, and the instruction manuals available online were convoluted and challenging to follow, it was suggested that a short instructional video would be the best way to resolve the issue.

The Process

Having agreed that a tutorial video would be required, things quickly moved forward to developing a script which would provide the necessary information to use the microscope whilst also not being too laborious. After several iterations, a script was agreed upon and helped form the basis of what needed to be captured on film. Having developed a ‘shot-list’, the filming process was expedited, only taking less than a half-day.

After the filming was complete, the next step was editing the footage together and adding content to support learning (e.g. animations, text, graphics). The University’s branding guidelines were also acknowledged and integrated into the tutorial video.

The video was then submitted in draft to the Department for review, and after making some minor alterations, the video was launched on YouTube!

The Solution

The final tutorial video delivers the teaching content of experienced lab technicians in a bitesize 6-minute video. Hosting the video on Youtube also means that it can be watched on-demand, so if a student wishes to refresh their memory on the microscope’s best practices, it’s always readily available. 33DEGREES also developed posters, currently placed in labs, which contain QR codes and links directing students to the tutorial video as a gentle reminder to follow best-practice.

Play Video

The new microscope tutorial for University of Oxford’s Earth Science Department

The Result

In summary, the project was a success on the basis that:

  • No microscopes have been mishandled in the 5-months which have followed the tutorial being released
  • Lab technician loading, concerned with taking the students through the correct use of the microscope, has been reduced significantly
  • The Department has gained a professionally developed and  timeless teaching asset which promotes the University

Complete list of services: video production, script development, graphic design, social media publishing, set-design, media-buying, copyrighting services

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