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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Gibberellin Mode of Action

by Cynthia Herbrandson
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4 stars
Content Quality: 4 stars
Effectiveness: 4 stars
Ease of Use: 4 stars
Reviewed: May 29, 2012 by Biology Editorial Board
Overview: Cynthia Herbrandson has produced this great site to provide supplemental material for an Introductory Botany course. The “Gibberellin Mode of Action” component of this site is a Flash Animation that helps explain the mode of action for gibberellin. It focuses on cellular components such as receptors and secondary messengers.
Learning Goals: There are no specific learning goals. The animation shows the steps that take place when the hormone gibberellin binds to a receptor resulting in a cascade of events resulting in the synthesis of a protein (enzyme).
Target Student Population: The site appears to be intended for use by Introductory Botany students. However, the materials can also be used in secondary education, as well as students enrolled in general biology and biochemistry classes.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: A general understanding of cell structure and function would be helpful, along with basic knowledge of hormone and hormone receptor action.
Type of Material: Materials presented at this site are designed for use by the student as a resource for Introductory Botany. This site is also helpful for any student interested in how molecules signal the cell and how the cell responds.
Recommended Uses: This material is intended as a supplement to the lecture aspect of an Introductory Botany course. The site can be used for in-class demonstration, supplementation to lecture, or as an online/hybrid class learning object.
Technical Requirements: This site requires Flash Player to see the animations.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths:
  • The animation helps students visualize a step-by-step process that must take place before a product can be formed
  • Very focused and to the point
  • Smooth animation
  • Good use of pastel color to emphasize material, but not overwhelm
Concerns:
  • The animation assumes that students who view this resource know that this event is occurring in a plant cell, know what each of the key elements in the diagram is, and what drives these elements to proceed in the orderly manner as presented

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths:
  • The animation is visually appealing
  • The brief explanation of what happens when certain elements do what they do is helpful
  • Does not contain a lot of words
  • Designed for the visual learner
  • Changing colors helps the viewer focus on how the signal is transmitted
Concerns:
  • There is no explanation on which type of cell this event is occurring or what steps must take place before the events depicted in this animation takes place
  • There is limited information about what will happen to the product (protein) that results from the process
  • It would be great to have specific examples of what kinds of responses occur

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths:
  • The visual appeal of the resource is its strength
  • Very easy to use
Concerns:
  • This resource assumes a lot of prior knowledge on the part of the student

Other Issues and Comments: In order to use this resource effectively, the instructor must provide explanations on the basic action of a hormone on its target cell.