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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Brain Map

by James Crimando
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4.75 stars
Content Quality: 4.75 stars
Effectiveness: 4.5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Mar 30, 2014 by Biology Editorial Board
Overview: This site takes the user from a simple review of sheep brain anatomy (sagittal sections only, tutorial) to complex neurophysiological questions (quizzing only with no tutorial). The site is a tutorial for midsagittal and parasagittal anatomical structures in that the user can use the site to learn the anatomy. Information asked about in the quiz questions are NOT taught at this site. Outside resources will be needed for students to accurately answer the quiz questions. However, correct and incorrect answers are indicated, such that screening through the answers a student could gain a limited understanding of the material. Each anatomical structure has five different quiz questions associated with it.
Learning Goals: None provided. However, the goal is to learn basic sheep brain anatomy.
Target Student Population: Material is appropriate for high school and lower level undergraduates for anatomy. Upper level undergraduates to graduate students would benefit most from the tutorial questions.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Basic understanding and familiarity with technical terms associated with the brain and nervous system.
Type of Material: Tutorial with interactive quizzes.
Recommended Uses:
  • In-class or online lecture supplement
  • Pre-Laboratory assignment
Technical Requirements: Javascript.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths:
  • Images are clear
  • The appropriate area delimited by the identified structure in the photograph is shaded in the accompanying line drawing which shows the student the boundary of the identified structure
Concerns:
  • There is a large difference in understanding and knowledge between content of the tutorial and quiz questions
  • There is no tutorial provided for quiz questions

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths:
  • The user can use the anatomy part as a true tutorial for sheep brain internal anatomy
  • The user can use the quizzing feature to review neurophysiology knowledge
Concerns:
  • There is a dichotomy between the level of knowledge of the tutorial and the quiz questions

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths:
    The site consists of only five pages
  • There are simple instructions provided
  • There seems to be a behind-the-scene checker to make sure the computer has JavaScript installed
  • The instant feedback on quiz questions are excellent tools for remembering technical terms and functions of the structures identified
  • There are simple instructions provided
  • There seems to be a behind-the-scene checker to make sure the computer has JavaScript installed
Concerns:
  • Images at the bottom of the screen to route the user to different pages are not labeled. Thus, the user might not progress through the whole activity.

Other Issues and Comments: The sharp images of the photographs and the accompanying line drawings where the identified structures light up provide an instant feedback that can help build student confidence. The quiz questions embedded in each of the tutorials provide frequent assessment and enable students to review the materials that they miss.