Enhancing student interactions with the instructor and content using pen-based technology, YouTube videos, and virtual conferencing

Biochem Mol Biol Educ. Jan-Feb 2011;39(1):4-9. doi: 10.1002/bmb.20443.


This report describes the incorporation of digital learning elements in organic chemistry and biochemistry courses. The first example is the use of pen-based technology and a large-format PowerPoint slide to construct a map that integrates various metabolic pathways and control points. Students can use this map to visualize the integrated nature of metabolism and how various hormones impact metabolic regulation. The second example is the embedding of health-related YouTube videos directly into PowerPoint presentations. These videos become a part of the course notes and can be viewed within PowerPoint as long as students are online. The third example is the use of a webcam to show physical models during online sessions using web-conferencing software. Various molecular conformations can be shown through the webcam, and snapshots of important conformations can be incorporated into the notes for further discussion and annotation. Each of the digital learning elements discussed in this report is an attempt to use technology to improve the quality of educational resources available outside of the classroom to foster student engagement with ideas and concepts. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education Vol. 39, No. 1, pp. 4-9, 2011.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Audiovisual Aids
  • Communication
  • Education, Distance / methods*
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways
  • Models, Molecular
  • Organic Chemicals / chemistry
  • Students*
  • Teaching / methods*
  • Videotape Recording


  • Organic Chemicals