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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Seeing, Hearing, and Smelling the World

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 4.7 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Jul 11, 2004 by Psychology
Overview: In a report from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, several authors present
scientific information related to how the brain functions relative to seeing,
hearing, and smelling. The information is displayed in a series of concise
articles, including graphics, which elaborate on how the brain performs
"sensing" activities.
Learning Goals: The articles on the web site serve as very good reference sources for the study
of sensation and perception. A thorough reading of all material available on
this web site would provide an excellent overview of the current state of
knowledge in the basic physiological and biological processes involved in
sensory processing.
Target Student Population: The target population would be advanced high school biology and college level
science or psychology students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Some prior study of basic human biology and psychology would be beneficial.
Type of Material: The site is comprised primarily of text and graphics. There are also a few java
applets to demonstrate illusions.
Recommended Uses: The site is useful as an online reference for the study of the sensory functions
of the human brain. It can also be used to introduce students to the topics
covered or to reinforce their understanding.

Technical Requirements: None.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.7 stars
Strengths: The articles contain current findings in the subject areas and display that
information in a clear and concise fashion. Often 'sidebar' links are provided
to provide additional detail or related information. The site is well-organized
and explanations are clear and thorough.

Concerns: As with most hyperlink rich sites, it isn't hard to get sidetracked. The use of
spawned browsers for the sidebars helps the user get back on track.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: As a reference source these articles are an excellent supplement to the study of
the biological or psychological aspects of brain function. An instructor could
assign some or all of the content as supplemental reading, and facilitate a
broad ranging discussion on course-relevant issues.
Concerns: None.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The site is simple to use. Each article contains text with graphical support,
and there are numerous links to an online glossary of those scientific terms
mentioned in the text.
Concerns: None.

Other Issues and Comments: The articles on this web site are both fascinating and informative, and they
represent some of the latest findings in scientific research. This is a really
nice site.