Post a composite review
Unpost a composite review
Search all MERLOT
Click here to go to your profile
Select to go to your workspace
Click here to go to your Dashboard Report
Click here to go to your Content Builder
Click here to log out
Search Terms
Enter username
Enter password
Please give at least one keyword of at least three characters for the search to work with. The more keywords you give, the better the search will work for you.
select OK to launch help window
cancel help



Peer Review

Stereotypical Portrayals of Scientists in Pop Culture



Overall Rating:

4.75 stars
Content Quality: 4.75 stars
Effectiveness: 4.75 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Mar 23, 2014 by Psychology
Overview: This learning object is hosted by Mindgate Media and includes a one minute video showing a humorous ad for Bud Lite. As is the case with all MindGate Media materials, "Stereotypical Portrayals of Scientists in Pop Culture" provides an excellent overview of the target topic along with related learning objectives, a video demonstration, discussion questions and a transcript of the video. This module is focused on stereotypes and public views on science and encourages students to question the too commonly portrayed stereotype of the "nerdy" scientist.
Learning Goals: After completing the lesson: • Students will be able to identify stereotypical characteristics of scientists as portrayed in the media. • Students will be able to give examples of what type(s) of work scientists engage in and how this differs from other technical professions. • Students will recognize the diversity that exists among scientists and the range of people, personalities, and interests represented in scientific professions.
Target Student Population: • The target population is undergraduate students in psychology. This material would be appropriate for an introductory psychology course or any other class examining stereotypes. • NOTE: College students are the target student population; however, high school students studying psychology would benefit as well.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None. However, some knowledge of stereotypes, prejudice or attitude formation may inform the discussion and relevance of the video.
Type of Material: Presentation [The learning object is a video resource with supplemental course materials. The video is embedded from YouTube; the video includes relevant instructional materials for use in either a face-to-face or online course.]
Recommended Uses: The video and included discussion questions encourage students to reconsider stereotypical representations in the media in general, and regarding scientists in particular. These resources are applicable for use in a live classroom discussion or for inclusion in an online course as a stand-alone supplement.
Technical Requirements: The learning object was accessed successfully from Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome using Windows 7 on a PC.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: • The discussion protocol is very strong, encouraging students to think about the video as well as delve more deeply into the question of what scientists do. • This is a humorous, relevant and interesting video that is easily understood by students. The information is accurate, timely and supported by research.
Concerns: • The video is short and only shows a few seconds with the scientist. Depending on their experience, students may need guidance to answer many of the questions regarding what scientists do.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: • Students are likely to find the video current, interesting and relevant to their lives. • Discussion questions are engaging and thought-provoking. They encourage the students to explore areas in the sciences and understand the diversity among scientists.
Concerns: • The video is not housed on the website; if it is removed from YouTube, there is no means of ensuring content availability. In addition, the MindGate Media site is no longer maintained... so no future updates or maintenance will be performed. • College students will be exposed to more scientists than a typical high school student. For use with college students, an additional question regarding the diversity in behavior and personality styles should be included.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: • This site is clearly designed for instructor use. The material is clear, easy-to-navigate and intuitive. All information is available for seamless integration into a course. • Everything is located on one page. Students can watch the video and work through the discussion questions prior to class. Given that the video is very brief, this activity could be accomplished in class as well.
Concerns: None.

Other Issues and Comments: • This learning object is a high quality instructional supplement; short and direct. The inclusion of the discussion questions makes this a quick and easy instructional resource. • Note from the website: “Thank you for visiting Mindgate Media. Please note that as of 2012 this site is no longer being maintained. Although new content is no longer being added, please feel free to visit our archived lessons or blog posts.”