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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Metabolic Pathways of Biochemistry

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

3.5 stars
Content Quality: 4 stars
Effectiveness: 2.5 stars
Ease of Use: 4 stars
Reviewed: Jun 08, 2004 by Biology Editorial Board
Overview: An online collection of diagrams of metabolic pathways. This site is designed to graphically represent all major metabolic pathways, primarily those important to human biochemistry. It includes 2D and 3D diagrams of pathways involved in carbohydrate, lipid, amino acid and energy metabolism. Advanced bioscience students can use this collection of diagrams to obtain a representation of these metabolic pathways.
Learning Goals: Provide an online collection of diagrams of metabolic pathways.
Target Student Population: Intermediate to advanced bioscience students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Some biochemistry or cell biology
Type of Material: Reference, text and diagrams
Recommended Uses: Intermediate to advanced bioscience students.
Could be used in class
Technical Requirements: Chime

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths:

  • Well drawn diagrams of major metabolic pathways.
  • Some pathways also contain 3D chime images.
  • Accurate and current
  • Accurate and clear represenation of the various metabolic pathways.
  • All elements of the reactions were represented clearly.
Concerns:

  • Many biosynthetic pathways are not yet represented. Last updated in 1998.
  • Some chime images would not upload, and this is best viewed in 2D as a result.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 2.5 stars
Strengths:

  • Overall reactions of metabolic pathways are shown.
  • A useful site for students to view metabolic pathways in a very similar format to that seen in most texts.
  • Assignments could be designed that use the information in the site.
  • Tables at the bottom summarize the energetics of each reaction nicely.
Concerns:

  • While the diagrams are of high quality, they are very similar to those in most texts. The diagrams are not linked to information on the enzymes catalyzing each step, or the cofactors used.
  • Links to descriptions of the enzymes or to structures of the enzymes that
    catalyze the various reactions would be helpful.
  • Links to descriptions of metabolic diseases that are associated with particular reactions would be useful.
  • A description at the beginning of each pathway describing the overall purpose of that particular metabolic pathway would be useful to students.
  • While assignments could be designed to use the site, none are available or linked to the site.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths:

  • Well laid out, and organized.
  • No broken links, but best viewed in 2D.
  • Easy to go back and forth between links.
Concerns:

  • Some 3D images would not load, while others were viewable with Chime.
  • A search engine would be helpful, if a student knew the name of an enzyme or metabolite they could then find what pathway it was located in quickly.
  • Several pathways were listed, but not yet developed.