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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Sheep Brain Dissection

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

3 stars
Content Quality: 3 stars
Effectiveness: 4 stars
Ease of Use: 3 stars
Reviewed: Aug 12, 2001 by Biology Editorial Board
Overview: This site, which originates from the The Exploratorium?s (San Francisco, CA, USA) exhibit on Memory in 1998, includes real photos of sheep and human brains and audio/video clips of dissection of the sheep brain. Important basic concepts regarding memory are presented in both the still life pictures and the short video clips. Schematic diagrams are also presented to help orient a person to the actual location of brain structures.
Target Student Population: All ages for general knowledge, may be appropriate for an introductory neuroscience or brain psychology course
Type of Material: Presentation
Technical Requirements: Real Player

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 3 stars
Strengths:

Quality of Content: (3.0) (3.5) = 3.3




  • Quality of the materials and their organization are excellent.

  • Photos of the brains (human and sheep) were beautiful. Although they contained
    more aesthetic content than educational content.

  • Text with the photographs were a necessary component for telling the story
    of where in the brain memory occurs.

Concerns: None

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths:

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool: (4.0) (4.0) = 4.0




  • The video clips would really help a novice with initial dissections.

  • Some pictures contained wonderful text, other pictures were lacking the
    text.

Concerns:

  • Purpose of website and its content were not clear from the cover page nor
    the title. The title suggest that the student would learn how to conduct a
    sheep brain dissection rather than view a few slices to illustrate the locations
    of the parts of the brain involved in memory.


Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 3 stars
Strengths:

Usability: (3.0) (3.0) = 3.0


Concerns:

  • A Help screen is included to guide users on how to use and download the
    required RealPlayer software needed to view/hear the video clips

  • Navigation of the site was not as easy as it could have been, one had to
    scroll through in order — this is okay for a short series of pages such
    as this one.

  • The video clips did not work using Microsoft Explorer and RealPlayer version
    6.0. I was able to hear the audio, but not see the video. It worked using
    Netscape Communicator, however it was very choppy and low graphics resolution




Overall Rating: = 3.4