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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Biology Animations

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

3.25 stars
Content Quality: 3.5 stars
Effectiveness: 3 stars
Ease of Use: 2.75 stars
Reviewed: Mar 30, 2014 by Biology Editorial Board
Overview: This site is a blogger site through blogspot.com with over 400 members and 900 posted animations or videos listed in alphabetical order covering all topics in biology, with predominance towards human anatomy, physiology and health. The site is not searchable; however, once one item is selected other suggestions pop up. Animation and video length range from seconds to nearly an hour with no indication of the length in the master list. The videos are hosted on YouTube. This site is best used for general browsing. Unfortunately, many animations and videos are no longer available because of copyright infringements, yet they remain listed. Viewers may leave comments but very few of the posted videos or animations had any comments.
Learning Goals: None provided
Target Student Population: High school or undergraduate college.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None
Type of Material: Collection of Animations and Videos
Recommended Uses: These animations could be assigned to students outside of class or used as demonstrations in class. These animations would also be especially useful for online or hybrid classes.
Technical Requirements: Varies depending on the video or animation selected from the list. The vast majority of the items can be viewed through YouTube.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 3.5 stars
Strengths:
  • Great variety of topics
  • Most videos seem to be high quality
  • Videos are tagged with key words, allowing them to found in searches
  • Each video lists similar videos ("You might also like...")
Concerns:
  • The animation collection is biased towards human biology and medicine
  • No information on the curator is given
  • Items listed are not screened or peer-reviewed
  • Many items are inactivated due to copy right issues but remain on the listing

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 3 stars
Strengths:
  • The animations are mostly short and could easily be used by faculty
  • The blog host (Blogger.com) allows sharing of videos in a variety of ways (Twitter, Facebook, email, Google+)
  • Users are exposed to a large array of topics from molecular to systems in normal and disease states.
Concerns:
  • Some animations have been blocked by publishers for copyright violations
  • Copyright issues may be present in other videos
  • There is a long alphabetical list of topics, but no specific organization

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 2.75 stars
Strengths:
  • The videos are easy to access, in full screen or small screen
  • The videos are easy to share in several ways
  • The long list of topics allows some searching
  • The list of animations is alphabetized
  • Other suggested videos pop up after watching one video
Concerns:
  • Only limited search functions are allowed
  • The videos are tagged with key words, but there is no actual organizational scheme or content list
  • Comments on videos are possible but very few had comments

Other Issues and Comments: No further comments.