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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Africa Focus: Sights and Sounds of a Continent

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4 stars
Content Quality: 4.5 stars
Effectiveness: 4 stars
Ease of Use: 4.5 stars
Reviewed: Jul 25, 2005 by Music
Overview: Africa Focus: Sights and Sounds of a Continent is an extensive archive of image and sound files from various parts of Africa. The catalog is searchable by collection, subject, country, atlas, and keyword. Multi-field searches are supported. Media are stored in several size formats to accommodate broadband and dial-up users.
Learning Goals: The goal of this project is "to provide the general public with a selection of
the images and sounds that have been contributed over the years to the African
Studies Program of the University of Wisconsin-Madison..."
Target Student Population: The target student population for this site is Grade 4 to College level students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None.
Type of Material: Archival database of images and sounds.
Recommended Uses: This site is an excellent resource to support lesson plans covering peoples and
cultures of Africa.
Technical Requirements: Online connection, browser and RealOne Player for audio files.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: The collection is extensive, collected by cultural insiders as well as
researchers, and is well annotated and organized. Images are of high quality and
resolution. Audio content includes substantial entries (some nearly an hour in
length) that enable in-depth study of the music. The site includes content that
pertains to a wide variety of life aspects, including food, music, religion,
social rites, architecture, agriculture, industry, geography, medicine, and
politics. Predefined image collections are included.
Concerns: None.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: Keyword, atlas, and subject searching allow the user to create targeted
collections on specific topics.
Concerns: None.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: Once a collection has been defined, items are "point and click." Images are
initially displayed as thumbnails. Items can be viewed in "Gallery," "Brief," or
"Full" mode.
Concerns: None.

Other Issues and Comments: Materials on the site are available for use by individuals, educators,
researchers, and libraries and may be freely copied or linked provided that
usage is "non-commercial, non-subscription" and proper attribution is included.