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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Restriction Mapping Tutorial

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

2.1 stars
Content Quality: 2.3 stars
Effectiveness: 2 stars
Ease of Use: 2 stars
Reviewed: Apr 15, 2005 by Biology Editorial Board
Overview: This tutorial provides information on using various combinations of restriction
enzymes to determine the sequence of 3.0kb piece of DNA in a pBluescript
plasmid. It explains how to map single cuttes and multiple cutters by examining
restriction fragments in order to determine the linear sequence of fragments
along a larger piece of DNA. In includes solutions to the problem, and some strategy on restriction mapping.
Learning Goals: To understand how to use various restriction digests to determine the linear
restriction may showing the relative position of various restriction sites.
Target Student Population: University undergraduates.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Basic molecular biology
Type of Material: Tutorial
Recommended Uses: Out of class practice assignment.
Technical Requirements: None

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 2.3 stars
Strengths:

  • A realistic problem, uses real enzymes and plasmids.
  • Gives some good hints in how to interpret restriction digests.
  • Lets students see what restriction digest gels look like for the left-side and right-side enzyme digests.
Concerns:

  • Mostly text based, no interesting story worked into the cloning strategy, i.e. why do this?
  • Could use more background material explaining the process.
  • Figure 1 is almost impossible to read.
  • The interactive piece of the tutorial, where you chose two different enzymes and are supposed to view the results, is not functional.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 2 stars
Strengths:

  • Interactive problem solving tutorial.
Concerns:

  • The information is somewhat useful, but the same information is available with better quailty in many lab manuals and textbooks.
  • Not very open-ended or inquiry-based.
  • Only one solution, a more animated program could shuffle the scenario, allowing students to solve multiple problems with different answers.
  • Similar to static textbook problems.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 2 stars
Strengths:

  • Loaded quickly and all on one page.
Concerns:

  • The problems with readability, and additionally the fact that the only
    interactive component of the module does not function, leave little to recommend this tutorial.
  • Broken links

Other Issues and Comments: I would suggest the author do a major revision of this site or remove it from
access, as it is not functional in its current state.