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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Tracking Epidemics

by Webmaster
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4 stars
Content Quality: 4 stars
Effectiveness: 4 stars
Ease of Use: 4 stars
Reviewed: Jul 24, 2002 by Biology Editorial Board
Overview: Maintained by the American Museum of Natural History and based on the museum?s exhibition in 1999, this site contains several hundred attractive photo images on infectious disease, each accompanied with brief explanatory text. The content addresses relationships between infectious disease and weather, society, environmental change and evolution. There are also sections on epidemiology and immune defenses.
Learning Goals: To introduce students to infectious disease and epidemiology and how it relates to their lives
Target Student Population: Upper-level High School and undergraduate students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None
Type of Material: Tutorial
Recommended Uses: Supplement to text
Technical Requirements: None

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths:

  • This is a comprehensive site that includes material on a large variety of Viruses, Protozoa, Bacteria, Fungi, and Worms.
  • An appropriate and attractive photograph or visual image and descriptive text accompany each organism presented.
  • The text detail is kept at the light to moderate level, without intense, in-depth detail, and uses vocabulary appropriate to its intended level of user.
  • Each item on a page is consistently linked to a brief glossary.
Concerns:

  • The site is from 1999 and is not updated.
  • Some information is simplified in a way that may be misleading or inaccurate.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths:

  • The writing is clear and easy to understand and the topics are of general interest.
  • The material promotes the understanding of Infectious Disease, including history and social implications of disease distrubution.
  • There is an abundance of links to other resource websites, such that the user can readily search for information
Concerns:

  • The material does not present research data, graphs, experimentation, or any extensive detail.
  • There are few questions, if any, to promote critical thinking or problem solving.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths:

  • The site is easy to navigate, as it takes the reader from one page to the next in orderly fashion.
  • The extensive links appear to operate well.
Concerns:

  • This site may be almost too large in size. Once read, it is difficult to find a specific item again.
  • It is possible to click and jump to another topic, but each topic contains an extensive number of pages. It would serve the reader better if the menu were more detailed in content.