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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Ocean View Data Visualization Tool

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4.25 stars
Content Quality: 4 stars
Effectiveness: 4 stars
Ease of Use: 4.5 stars
Reviewed: Mar 18, 2007 by Biology Editorial Board
Overview:

The Ocean View Data Visualization Tool website provides data for 13 ocean locations (including north and mid Altantic, north and south Pacific). This data includes temperature, salinity, oxygen saturation and dissolved oxygen. The user can select two locations to compare side by side. By mousing over the bouys, the user is given the exact location of the collection site. Once two sites are chosen the user can then compare an entire years (January 1998 - December 1998) worth of data, month by month. The graphing tool allows the user to select only one set of data, such as temperature or any combination of the four (temp., salinity, dO2, oxy. sat.)from surface to a maximum depth of 1000 meters . The interactive map also shows surface and deep ocean currents. The site also contains sample lessons to illustrate how the data may be used by students to answer questions about the ocean parameters.

Learning Goals:

Sample learning activities are provided. These activities have specific learning goals. Overall the site intends to provide individuals with the opportunity top manipulate and analyze data. This site is best suited to teach about the properties of seawater and how these properties vary based on geographical location.

Target Student Population:

Middle school and High school. May be too complicated for elementary school. Could be a good resource for data for an Introductory Marine Science course, but the data is limited to only 1 year.

Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:

The site is designed to be accessible to a wide range of users. Some basic knowledge of biological and physical concepts is needed to fully understand materials. Use of web browser with Java will be required.

Type of Material:

Data collection.

Recommended Uses:

This site would be great for introducing students to Oceanography. It provides a nice tutorial on the properties of seawater and allows for precise comparisions of these properties between geographical locations. It would also be a great site to introduce ocean currents and how the properties of the seawater can affect the currents. On a different grade level, it may provide more comprehensive treatment for high school and college level courses making use of additional maps and links found.

Technical Requirements:

Basic site requires current, java enabled internet browser.


Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths:
  • Contains data on ocean water physical parameters for 13 buoy locations, some at widely separated areas. Extremely complete collection of data for for a full year.
  • Data is available graphically in both space and time.
  • Data is available through a highly interactive map interface.
  • Ocean current patterns are also available on the interactive map.
  • Display of data easily changed.
Concerns:
  • The usefulness of the data is limited since data covers only one calendar year.
  • Integration of data needs be by means of assignments provided by the instructor.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths:
  • Access to the limited data set allows instructors to develop multiple approaches to using the site.
  • It allows students to make correlations between salinity and temperature, or dissolved oxygen and temperature, etc.
  • It allows students to compare the properties of the seawater in the north Atlantic to that in the south Pacific.
  • Sample lessons greatly help determine what are appropriate uses of the data available on the site. They provide excellent background information and help instructors understand how to interpret the data.
  • Sample lessons provide some educational goals for use of the site.
Concerns:
  • Other than comparing data, no other manipulations or information is available on the site.
  • Only one additional link to another source of information found on this site.
  • Most students will require detailed assignments to guide them through uses of the data that will result in experiential learning.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths:
  • Navigation is simple, effective, and intuitive.
  • The graphics are easy to understand. The side by side graphs are great for easy visualization of the similarities and differences between the two chosen sites.
  • Interactive map interface for the buoy locations is a very effective way to show what site is about and facilitate access to the data.
  • Jargon kept a minimum—makes site useable by professional, concerned citizen, or casual browser alike.
Concerns:
  • Little explanation of the data provided.

Other Issues and Comments:

The concept behind the site is valid and educationally useful. It makes real data available for students to use and provides a tool for using that data.