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.
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.
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.
This site requires Flash Player to see the animations.
Evaluation and Observation
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
Good use of pastel color to emphasize material, but not overwhelm
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
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
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
The visual appeal of the resource is its strength
Very easy to use
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.