A collection of three-dimensional, interactive animations. This extensive collection of tutorials allows students to critically analyze three dimensional structures of DNA, protein secondary structure, G proteins, hammerhead ribozymes, restriction enzymes, DNA binding motifs, MHC proteins and oxygen binding proteins. The tutorials on Protein Secondary Structure give a good introduction to the alpha-helix and beta pleated sheet. The tutorials all use Chime and are very interactive and of superior quality. They also follow a consistent and easy to use format, which decreases the challenges many students (and instructors) face when going from one tutorial to the next. Some of these tutorials are tied closely with the Lehninger Biochemistry text
To understand the structure and function of various cellular macromolecules, and to be able to understand the individual components that give them their biological function.
Target Student Population:
Advanced High School students, all levels of college students, and some graduate students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Basic chemistry and biology.
Type of Material:
Interactive animations and tutorials
Self-study by students and for active use in lectures.
Netscape 4.5 or 4.7 (not higher versions of Netscape) and the Chime plug-in, made by MDL, Inc. The tutorials are not fully functional in IE 5.5 and 6, due to problems with the Chime plug-in (some of the buttons do not function and some of the text formatting is run together). The use of IE is not recommended. Tutorials work fine in Netscape 4.5 or 4.7. A direct link to download these older browsers is at the site.
Evaluation and Observation
Well designed with current and accurate animations and tutorials.
Very well written descriptions of the images the students are allowed to manipulate. Each animation illustrates key concepts being discussed in the accompanying text.
Molecules are easy to manipulate/dissect, and buttons used for various views are clearly laid out.
Information is divided up in a logical and easy to follow manner.
Excellent graphics and animations. Would be very useful for a student alone, or in a lecture.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
If one has Internet access, a great way to demonstrate molecular structure instead of using transparencies and/or drawings on the chalkboard.
Drag and move Chime program offers excellent interactivity and is a great way to demonstrate key molecular features.
Excellent way for students to visualize and manipulate molecules on their own.
A good supplement to a text or used as a stand-alone module.
Would be possible to write questions based upon material in tutorial.
Animations help illustrate difficult concepts.
It would be nice to link the tutorials to some example problems or questions. These often force students to critically analyze a structure in more detail.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Easy to navigate and quick, without any defective links or bugs.
Clear index on the first page allows for quick access to tutorials.
Tutorials are well organized and explained clearly.
Tutorial all work well as stand-alone exercises.
Some tutorials tie-in with texts such as Stryer and Lehninger. This provides students using these texts with hands-on experience with the concepts discussed in the text.
Perhaps construct a site map that gives an overall view of the site layout.