Educational Research & Development

(ISSN: 2360-9494)

November 2014, Vol. 2 (6).

© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research Article


College Students' Use of YouTube Videos In Learning Biology and Chemistry Concepts

Abour H. Cherif, Ph.D.1*, JoElla Eaglin Siuda, Ph.D.2 , Farahnaz Movahedzadeh, Ph.D.3,

Margaret Martyn, Ph.D.4, Charles Cannon, Ph.D.5 & Samar I. Ayesh, Ph.D.6

National Associate Dean,
DeVry University Home Office,
3005 Highland Parkway, Downers Grove, IL 60515, U.S.A.
2Associate Professor of Chemistry,
The Illinois Institute of Art, Chicago,
350 North Orleans, Chicago, IL 60654, U.S.A.
3Associate Professor, Co-chair,
Department of Biological Sciences,
Harold Washington College,
30 E. Lake Street, Chicago IL 60601, U.S.A.
4VP of Academic Affairs,
Harold Washington College,
30 E. Lake Street, Chicago IL 60601, U.S.A.
5Distinguished Professor of Chemistry,
Columbia College Chicago,
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL, 60605, U.S.A.
6Assistant Professor of Chemistry,
Harold Washington College,
30 E. Lake Street, Chicago IL 60601, U.S.A.

Accepted 27 October, 2014; Available Online 3 November, 2014.


Over three hundred fifty students from two- and four-year colleges were asked to indicate their frequency of use, and to provide their perspectives, on the usefulness of YouTube videos in learning biology and chemistry concepts. This research paper describes the study, shares the results, and discusses the implications of the findings for students, instructors, curriculum, and academic leaders. A case is made for including YouTube videos in the teaching and learning of science concepts in the classroom. What is more, we discovered that a majority of the students surveyed have noted being left to their own devices in their attempts to peruse the many YouTube videos in search of those that are useful, relevant, and credible with the biology and chemistry concepts in question in a particular class. As the students expounded the great value of the videos, there was a keen desire for instructors to search for, and integrate, related videos on a weekly basis in their courses; students felt that in this shift to instructors assuming this responsibility for locating the videos, they would have more time to study and engage in the learning process. This, in their eyes, would increase their chances for success in the arenas of biology and chemistry. While we are sure that YouTube videos play a significant role in motivating and engaging students in the learning process--- especially with the low-performing students--- we must acknowledge that it is the faculty whom are required to spend time and energy on behalf of the students looking for and integrating them in the fabric and the pedagogy of a given course. They will be more effective if this task becomes part of what the faculty does in designing and preparing for their own courses and pedagogical strategies.

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