Introduction to Microbiology provides a series of 30-minute instructional videos that cover basic concepts and principles of microbiology. This video series helps students understand the day to day functions of microbiology and how microorganisms affect everything from medicine to environmental issues to global politics. This site is made up of twelve videos that flow well with a college microbiology class. Starting with the basics like metabolism, genetic transfer and bacterial interactions to Microbial Interactions, Human Defenses and Microbes and Human Diseases. Current events and case studies are used to illustrate the importance of microbes in the world today, and how they impact everything from human health to ecology. Interviews with actual scientists along with the filming of clinical scenarios engage students and draw their attention to the importance of the topics presented.
Type of Material:
The site provides videos that could be viewed individually or as a set throughout an upper-level high school biology course or a college-level introductory microbiology course. The videos are designed to enhance the learning of microbiology class and could easily be part of distance education microbiology (non-science major’s class).
The videos provided could be viewed in class and followed up by group discussion of the material, or be viewed outside of class and assigned with an additional written assignment on a given topic from the video. The videos can be used to supplement lecture material on these topics to bring home the importance of microbiology. Videos like metabolism, microbial control, and human defense are confusing topics for students but enhanced by this material to make these difficult topics much easier to grasp.
JW Player and Adobe Flash Player are required for viewing of the videos.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
This site serves to enhance student understanding of various microbiological concepts by engaging them with animations as well as interviews and real-life scenarios that are presented in these videos. By making the material clear and interesting, students will want to learn more about the diversity of microbial life and the various roles microbes play globally.
Target Student Population:
The content presented in the videos targets mainly students in an upper-level high school biology course or a college-level introductory microbiology course.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
No prerequisites are required to view the videos at this site, but some basic understanding of biology will provide a better understanding of the topics addressed.
Videos are clear and understandable, even to a layperson
Easy to incorporate into lectures
Topics correlate well with typical microbiology classes
Can take topics and use them in other classes like introduction to biology (especially reading the code of life and human defenses)
Presentation may bring up many important issues in microbiology, medically and environmentally
Information is accurate and comprehensive
Some current issues are not covered due to the date these were made (metagenomics, etc.)
Since the videos are free the video is small and cannot be increased in size
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Students will be engaged by the information presented, making the transition to additional research assignments more efficient
Great as supplemental learning for either in class or as a video to be viewed at home before class starts that could be used to enhance class discussion
Information reinforces concepts progressively
Content of videos demonstrates relationships among topics
Videos themselves do not identify the learning objectives, but are easily identifiable by the instructor
The screen for vidoes is small and may be hard to view in the back of a large room and may be too long for a classroom setting
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Videos can be viewed in one click.
The information is well organized
No defective links or major bugs were found
Instructors/students need to be aware of how to address any Flash issues if they occur
There are accompanying materials available but they are for purchase only, so these are very static tools
Other Issues and Comments:
The videos are an effective, free learning tool for instructors and students alike; instructors will be able to use them as a springboard for discussion and/or research of more current topics in microbiology today.
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