This site links to animations of major processes related to the immune system. These include Somatic Recombination of a light chain to demonstrate how antibodies can bind to many different epitopes; MHC I and MHC II antigen loading; B Cell Maturation; Activation of B Cells with Thymus-Independent (TI) Antigen; B and T Cell Selection. Other molecular animations available show cell responses to ligand binding to cell surface receptors and how RT-PCR is performed.
Type of Material:
To help visualize dynamic processes of the immune response; can be used individually or as a class presentation. Essential part of a biology course curriculum
Identify Major Learning Goals:
To help students learn the processes of immunology
Target Student Population:
Upper division undergraduate and graduate level in any course that presents details of the immune response
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Introduction to cell biology.
The drawings are attractive, large, and easy to read.
Often there is sound accompaniment, which adds humor and keeps user interest.
Students interact well with this site.
Topics are covered in sufficient detail to give the user a clear picture of the complexity of the processes.
The site could use an animation of T cell dependent activation of both T and B cells to provide a more complete introduction to immune processes.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The animations break down complex processes into individual steps that can be studied before proceeding. This helps considerably in the learning process.
The site does an excellent job of presenting major concepts in an appealing visual format.
The objective of each animation is clearly indicated at the beginning.
One could send student to animation and then ask them to write a description of what happens and the role of each component.
Definitely assumes some prior knowledge because terms are not always defined. For example in MHCI loading ? TAP, calnexin. etc are undefined.
Addition of a brief quiz would allow the student to test understanding.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Each linked animation site is well designed with a clear layout and instructions that were easy to follow
For the Davidson creations each step can be replayed and there is access to return to the previous step.
The animations loaded very quickly.
MAPK pathway was created by different author and lacks written descriptions making it harder to follow.
In B cell maturation it was difficult to get all labels with mouse; the cursor was very sensitive and limited to a small area
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