Video-based learning is an increasingly important methodology in higher education and has particular value in practical teaching. In order to enhance learning and promote student engagement in our undergraduate microbiology programme, we designed and produced a suite of teaching videos which demonstrate laboratory techniques core to the syllabus. The methods were demonstrated by PhD students and the professionally-produced videos were made widely available via the free YouTube channel Microbiology teaching videos at NUI Galway (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsP4xz5aq7sWfR9eXSCd_QQ/), which accumulated over 40 000 views across 47 countries in its first 15 months online. A survey of students who used the videos in their teaching and learning identified a greatly increased understanding of experimental principles and ability to carry out techniques; greater engagement with practical teaching sessions; particular benefits for visual learners; and increased confidence in teaching and in communicating science amongst undergraduate teaching assistants. The videos will be central to microbiology teaching at NUI Galway over the coming decade and will benefit many 3rd level institutions exploring online and blended learning approaches in the coming years.