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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Environmental Biotechnology - New Approaches and Prospective Applications

by Marian Petre, Editor
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4.5 stars
Content Quality: 4.5 stars
Effectiveness: 4 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Feb 09, 2014 by Biology Editorial Board
Overview: This is an open access book that is a compilation of original research papers presented as chapters. There are 12 chapters, each one authored by researchers from several European countries, South Africa, Japan, and Australia. Each chapter contributes to the unifying theme of the book, Environmental Biotechnology, and present new approaches and applications for dealing with environmental hazardous wastes.
Learning Goals: The site does not have an explicit list of learning outcomes. However, each chapter provides detailed information on experimental procedures designed to remove or mitigate the impact of hazardous pollutants on the environment.
Target Student Population: This text would be useful for senior level undergraduates or beginning undergraduates in environmental science or biotechnology programs. Graduate students may also find the articles useful.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: A base knowledge of chemistry and biology are needed, as well as background in basic biotechnology concepts.
Type of Material: This is an open access textbook comprised of 12 chapters that are published manuscripts.
Recommended Uses: Assignment for advanced undergraduate and graduate classes in Biology, Biotechnology, Bioengineering, and Environmental Engineering.
Technical Requirements: The resource is accessible with any browser.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths:
  • The material in each chapter is written in a refereed journal format
  • The images and statistical data in every chapter support the narrative
  • The information in each chapter could provide new opportunities for up and coming researchers to follow up with more innovative ideas
Concerns:
  • The topics are very specific and focused which may limit the readership
  • It cannot be determined when the papers were published, and many of the references appear very out of date

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths:
  • This material could be beneficial to students first entering into the study of biotechnology and environmental science, as a way of integrating new information and the process of research
  • As a teaching tool, the materials in each chapter are supplements or references for specific topics in biotechnology and bioengineering
  • The diversity in nationalities and academic affiliations of the authors provide an excellent bridge for understanding science in a global perspective.
Concerns:
  • These are very specific studies and the references appear outdated in many instances

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths:
  • The format with which the topics are presented is easy to follow for as long as the user has command of the discipline’s vocabulary
  • The material is technical and suitable for the specific audience for which it is intended
  • Assigning the materials in this volume to a class could elevate the intellectual curiosity and promote an appreciation of the ever increasing globalization and collaboration in scientific and cultural innovation
Concerns: None.

Other Issues and Comments: Faculty who use the materials in this open access book must make sure that the students have the basic "knowledge prerequisites" so that they don’t get lost along the way.