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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


One Gene, One Protein

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Apr 18, 2006 by Biology Editorial Board
Overview: This module on “One Gene, One Protein” is from the "DNA From the Beginning" site. Mutation experiments on Neurospora are described to demonstrate Archibald Garrod’s theory on inborn errors of metabolism and the concept of “one gene makes one protein." The works of George Beadle and Edward Tatum are described to show how mutation of an organism can affect metabolic pathways. Mutational experiments of the vitamins and the arginine pathway in neurospora are described, leading ot an explanation of the concept of one gene for each enzyme in the pathway. Users may access the "Problem" menu, which presents several multiple choice questions requiring interpretation of the experimental results presented in the tutorial. The questions are instantly graded, providing immediate feedback. Additional menus are: the "Picture Gallery," with images of historical photographs of researchers, lab, and laboratory equipment used in the experiments described; the "Audio/Video" menu, that presents QuickTime interviews with researchers who discuss the concept in more detail; and a "Biography" menu, providing further information about the key scientists. A "Links" menu provides further bibliographic information, as well as links to additional relevant sites.
Learning Goals: Understanding of mutational analysis of enzymatic pathways and the one gene one protein concept.
Target Student Population: Advanced high school as well as undergraduate and graduate students
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: No prerequisite knowledge is required, but some background in chemistry, genetics, and molecular biology may help users better understand the information.
Type of Material: Tutorial and Animation / Interactive Lesson
Recommended Uses: This material can be used in lecture or for independent study to learn about molecular genetics.
Technical Requirements: Flash Player and QuickTime are needed to see animations and view video clips.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths:

  • Clearly laid out, well organized, and very well presented
  • Very complete and accurate information with appropriate vocabulary
  • Content follows a logical progression, both conceptually and chronologically
  • Animations accurately represent experimental designs presented
  • Exceptional combination of animation and video interviews
Concerns:

  • The site needs more video interviews from other scientists. A few female and minority scientists would be a plus for this part of the site. These interviews are valuable tools for learning and understanding the methods of science.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths:

  • Excellent source of tutorial information
  • Tutorials promote understanding of basic concepts and contain more than one approach to understanding the concept
  • Tutorial animations and problems lend themselves to the creation of additional questions such as "where do we go from here?"
  • Interactive quizzes provide immediate reasons for correct and incorrect answers
  • Video interviews with famous scientists provide motivation for student learning
  • The animations represent an excellent collection of scientific reasoning and logic, and focus on "how we know" not just "what we know." The animations frequently begin with a famous scientist posing a problem to be solved. This approach may make more of a connection between the results of a classical experiment and the mind behind the reasoning. The constant flow of scientific reasoning from unit to unit provides a clear and impressive thread of logic showing how scientists realized that DNA is the genetic material.
Concerns:

  • The tutorials could be improved by adding sound and expanding upon the interactivity of some of the Flash Player animations

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths:

  • Clear and accurate instructions
  • Well designed, easy to navigate, intuitive and fast
  • Widespread and effective use of animation
  • Definitions linked directly to the term
  • Excellent use of Flash Player and QuickTime video clips
Concerns:

  • None

Other Issues and Comments: The animations represent an excellent collection of scientific reasoning and logic, and focus on "how we know" not just "what we know." The animations frequently begin with a famous scientist posing a problem to be solved. This approach may make more of a connection between the results of a classical experiment and the mind behind the reasoning. The constant flow of scientific reasoning from unit to unit provides a clear and impressive thread of logic showing how scientists realized that DNA is the genetic material. It might help to add more video interviews from other scientists, especially where there is only one person featured in the video clips. Perhaps modern scientists could substitute for those who cannot be interviewed. A few female and minority scientists would be a plus for this part of the site. These interviews are valuable tools for learning and understanding the methods of science. The authors might consider adding sound and expand upon the interactivity of some of the Flash Player animations.