Inspiration

We've assembled a beginning collection of some of the interesting DIY media projects that have been developed or are underway at UBC. We've also included some professionally produced media so that you can get a sense of what's possible if you choose that route.


For her massive open online course (MOOC) in Useful Genetics, UBC's Professor of Zoology, Dr. Rosie Redfield took a DIY approach and used her office to record series of animated powerpoint lectures to introduce each course module and course concepts. Browse through the collection of videos on Dr. Redfield's Useful Genetics Channel on YouTube.

Why did she do this?

Rather than use a professional recording studio, Dr. Redfield chose to use her office because she wanted her lectures to be informal and conversational. She also wanted control of the recording and editing process and wanted to avoid pressure to look professional.

How did she do this?

Dr. Redfield takes us through her process in the video.

For Interviews

CTLT's interview with Dr. Judy Chan - Land and Food Systems - about her wiki-based course in Land & Food Systems.

CTLT's interview with Dr. Steven Barnes - Psychology - about his DIY Media project in epigenetics.

Why did we do this?

The goal in creating these videos was to document and share a reflection on a process. The shared reflections may provide guidance for others who are thinking about implementing similer approaches in their learning environments. In the case of Judy Chan's interview, the process was around a decision to involve students in video creation as part of an assignment related to the course. In Steven Barne's interview, the process was the setting up of the DIY studio space as well as the creation of chalkboard animations to highlight course concepts.

How did we do this?

We used an iPad and a Rode mic to record the interviews. Details about equipment, production and set up are documentedhere.

CTLT visited the DIY studio of Steven J. Barnes where he and research assistant Chandra Jade, create animated video to illustrate epigenetics mechanisms and concepts using a chalkboard and stop-motion animation techniques. Steven is an Instructor with Vantage College and the Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia. He explains his reasons behind the choice of stop motion for his project and describes the process. You'll also sneak a peak at his studio set up (which is also described below). View the series (in progress) on Steven Barnes' YouTube Channel.

Why did they do this?

Excerpt from their YouTube Channel: Barnes is creating six new online modules specifically for his Brain and Behaviour (PSYC 304) course. His goal is to develop online modules that students can access and interact with outside of class and where students can have more control over their learning. The modules will include stop-motion animation, curated web content, created video content, and opportunities for student interaction and self-assessment. When asked recently "why stop motion animation?" he explained that he is demonstrating abstract concepts that are not easily imagined since they can't be seen by the naked eye. The stop motion animation technique he and Chandra have developed allows him to effectively zoom in on detailed aspects of a particular function or process. The novel aspects (such as the animated string of DNA unraveling) will hopefully creating a lasting memory for learners related to the concept he is is trying to demonstrate. More about the process is highlighted in the video interview.

How did they do this?

The process involved setting up a DIY studio with the following:

  • 3 point lighting system
  • chalkboard
  • air filter (to remove chalk dust)
  • Dragonframe image capture software for stop motion animation.
  • DSLR Camera
  • 2 laptops
    Neuroanatomy Animation Storyboard
  • 1 projector (Steven likes to pre-draw his images and project on the screen for greater control and consistency)
  • detailed storyboards (not your typical napkin sketch) to reference the type of image required - which Steven could draw in advance and project on the screen when live animating.


Chandra was hired as a grad student assistant - 20 hours per week. She just happened to have a prior life in video editing and production.

The UBC Science Writing Team developed a set of instructional videos to support the development of writing skills for communicating science effectively. The project was TLEF supported. Videos were produced by work/learn students with Faculty support for content development. Contact Eric Jandciu [1] or Jackie Stewart [2].

Camera set up for whiteboard animation

Why did they do this?

To insert a fun, novel, engaging approach to support the development of basic writing skills. The intent is to support writing projects aimed at communicating science. CTLT interviewed Eric Jandciu about the project.

How do I do this?

  • dream team of collaborators: science writing specialist, work/learn student with a talent for drawing
  • DIY studio set up
  • Storyboard samples: these were circulated with scripts to faculty team for approval/editing prior to recording.

Jim Sibley (Faculty of Applied Science) experiments with a whiteboard animation approach to a concept tutorial.

Why did he do this?

  • To illustrate a concept.

How did he do this?

This was created using a tool called VideoScribe

For her massive open online course (MOOC) in Useful Genetics, UBC's Professor of Zoology, Dr. Rosie Redfield produced her own stop motion animation using candy to illustrate how haemophilus influenzae cells take up DNA. She regularly creates her own video resources to support her teaching and has put together a workable DIY media studio on her desktop. Browse through the collection of videos on Dr. Redfield's Useful Genetics Channel on YouTube.

Why did she do this?

more to come...

How did she do this?

more to come...

For her massive open online course (MOOC) in Useful Genetics, UBC's Professor of Zoology, Dr. Rosie Redfield produced a series of animated powerpoint lectures to introduce each course module and course concepts. Browse through the collection of videos on Dr. Redfield's Useful Genetics Channel on YouTube.

Why did she do this?

Rather than use a professional recording studio, Dr. Redfield chose to use her office because she wanted her lectures to be informal and conversational. She also wanted control of the recording and editing process and wanted to avoid pressure to look professional.

How did she do this?

This video will introduce you to Dr. Redfield's desktop studio, that she created in her office so that she could self produce her animated powerpoint lectures to introduce each course module and course concepts.

The Digital Tattoo Project student team creates video on themes related to digital identity for their series Think Before You Ink. Here is an example of a video o the topic of data mining using stop motion video. See other examples in the Think Before You Ink Series on their YouTube channel.

Why did we do this?

  • to help viewers develop an understanding of some basic themes, popular tools and social media practices related to digital identity.
  • to add some fun and humor to (what could be) dry topics.
  • to produce video content for the website that a learning content could be wrapped around (poll questions and discussion for example).

How did we do this?

When Ben Paylor isn't researching how stem cells can repair heart damage as a UBC graduate student, he dabbles in animation however the word "dabbles" does not give his video work enough justice. He produces a three part three-part video series to explain the basic concepts in stem cell research. It is visually interesting and really demonstrates how to explain basic concepts in its narration and animations. The producers of this animation project were able to get funding behind their project.

Why did they do this?

Created by UBC PhD candidate Ben Paylor and University of Toronto post-doctoral fellow Michael Long, StemCellShorts, a series of short animated videos designed to explain stem cells to a mainstream audience, have been viewed more than 15,000 times on YouTube and Vimeo. Each of the three videos answers a simple question about stem cells and is narrated by a prominent Canadian stem cell researcher.

How did they do this?

While it may have started as DIY, the team has created InfoShots to provide a design service for others.

The UBC Faculty of Medicine presents nine videos about the brain and central nervous system. Filmed in the gross anatomy labs at Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Written by Dr. Claudia Krebs, Tamara Bodnar, Parker Holman, Dr. Joanne Weinberg. Produced and directed by Zachary Rothman with MedIT Educational Technology at UBC Medicine. Learning resources (quizzes, interactive self assessments) accompany the videos at neuroanatomy.ca. More about the student experience...

Why did they do this?

Note: this was NOT a DIY project - coming soon: find out why Claudia Krebs and her amazing team chose a different approach to creating 9 videos in one week.

How did they do this?

Although this wasn't a DIY project, it required a significant committment of time and resources in the planning, design and production phases...more to come on this.

For more in the series and access to the map: http://mlws.landfood.ubc.ca/videos/

The Master of Land and Water Systems (MLWS) program team has produced a series of videos that introduce the emergence of innovative designs and approaches to urban stormwater management. The series focuses on stormwater management at three different scales: Property, Neighborhood and Watershed. This series is used in UBC's Urban Watershed Management course (SOIL 516), one of several online Watershed Management course offerings. This series is also useful for developers, students, real estate agents, municipal/regional planners, managers and engineers. Production of these videos is made possible by The Learning Centre at the Faculty of Land and Food Systems.

The videos are also associated with an interactive google map showing locations for each video shoot.

Why did we make this?

Although the series was initially designed for use in the online course (SOIL 516), we thought that presenting the videos with an interactive map would make the videos more interesting to residents of the Lower Mainland. All of the stormwater designs we feature in the videos are real locations in local neighbourhoods, and the map provides a great entry point for someone who may not have an interest or understanding of stormwater management and low impact designs. Contact: Julie Wilson [3]

How did we make this?

The videos were edited in iMovie and presented via the MLWS Program's YouTube channel. The map was created using an experimental app on Google Drive, called Google Fusion Tables. It essentially operates like a GIS, where GPS coordinates and other data are entered into a table, and points are projected onto a Google Map. Contact: Julie Wilson [4]


video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player


As part of the EOS Science Education Initiative, the team developed a video series as a teaching resource titled: Evidence-based science education in action: Video demonstrations of classroom, lab and other instructional strategies. This video is a sample one of several in the series.

Why did they do this?

  • The intent of the series is described on their website.

How did they do this?

  • cameras in the classroom


Podcasts from UBC lecturers involved with UBC’s Arts One – Open. As stated on their website, these learning resources are meant to “provoke you to think in new ways about authors from Plato to Shakespeare, Defoe to Coetzee, and about issues such as knowledge, monstrosity, science, and politics”.

Why did they do this?

  • "specifically designed to tie together two or more texts from a particular theme, in a way that will aid you as you are writing essays or studying for your final exam." This is one of several media resources available to students. Other sources are video and social media (such as Twitter feeds, Facebook pages and blog posts).

How did they do this?

Podcasts recorded by students in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems. Each of the podcasts focuses on answering a research question or specific area of research, draw connections and comparisons, and show critical thinking.

Why did they do this?

  • to give students the opportunity to communicate a research question or specific area of research, draw connections and comparisons, and show critical thinking.

How did they do this?

source: http://wiki.ubc.ca/Sandbox:DIY_Media_UBC_Examples

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