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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


MIT OpenCourseWare-Genetics, Fall 2004

by Chris Kaiser , Michelle Mischke , Gerald Fink , Leona Samson
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4.25 stars
Content Quality: 4.5 stars
Effectiveness: 4 stars
Ease of Use: 4.5 stars
Reviewed: Mar 23, 2013 by Biology Editorial Board
Overview: This is an undergraduate genetics course that was offered at MIT in 2004 as open courseware. The course discusses the principles of genetics with application to the study of biological function at the level of molecules, cells, and multicellular organisms, including humans. The topics include: structure and function of genes, chromosomes and genomes, biological variation resulting from recombination, mutation, and selection, population genetics, use of genetic methods to analyze protein function, gene regulation and inherited disease.
Learning Goals: This course discusses the principles of genetics with application to the study of biological function at the level of molecules, cells, and multicellular organisms, including humans. The student will learn basic genetic principles, genes in bacteria, prokaryotes and eukaryotes, and the role genetics play in some diseases.
Target Student Population: This course is intended for upper division undergraduate students. It can also be used for first year graduate students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: An introductory biology course is necessary to understand the course material. The student has to be familiar with the terms being used.
Type of Material: This is an online course complete with lecture notes, homework problems, old exams with answers and exams (without answers).
Recommended Uses: This material would be useful for self study or review.
Technical Requirements: This site requires a web browser along with a PDF reader, although there wasn't a link to provide a reader.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths:
  • High quality lecture notes, exam and practice problems
  • All the tools to get through the course are available
Concerns:
  • The material is difficult, but learnable
  • Not very interactive
  • No video or animations

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths:
  • Good lecture notes and practice problems
  • Could be used to create assignments and quizzes
  • Lists the objectives on the home page
  • There is a progression through the material
  • Information is reinforced by assignments and exams
  • This material could be used for a stand alone course
Concerns:
  • Not very interactive or engaging
  • Would need to be adapted by the instructor to meet the needs of their students
  • Does not list any pre-requisites
  • Material is time-comsuming to learn

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths:
  • Easy to load materials on site
  • The course is self explanatory
  • Everything you need to be successful is there
Concerns:
  • No search features or annotations
  • Material is pretty challenging to learn the way it is presented and may be time-consuming