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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


You say "Velociraptor", I say "Deinonychus"

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4.25 stars
Content Quality: 4 stars
Effectiveness: 3.75 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Jun 30, 2014 by Biology Editorial Board
Overview: The site is a page from the Smithsonian magazine, a publication designed for the general public. The short article describes the “inaccuracies” in the portrayal of certain dinosaurs in the film Jurassic Park. The author describes how the novelists and film makers may have interpreted the paleontological data resources incorrectly.
Learning Goals: None stated. This would be a great article for instructors teaching about the intricacies of nomenclature or the use and abuse of science in popular culture.
Target Student Population: High-school or undergraduate students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None stated; however, having seen the movie Jurassic Park would be important to understanding the article. A working knowledge on naming fossils and living organisms will be helpful.
Type of Material: Online article
Recommended Uses: Instructors could assign this article or students could use it for research.
Technical Requirements: Online access

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths:
  • The information is high quality and detailed on this topic
  • The article provides a good basic background about the material
  • It describes arcane aspects of nomenclature in an interesting and accessible way
Concerns:
  • There are no sources or references given for people who might want to go farther
  • Although there is some organization within sections, it is not clear if this approach follows traditional pedagogy for teaching this subject

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 3.75 stars
Strengths:
  • The article is well written and engaging, especially for a relatively arcane topic
  • Material promotes conceptual understanding
  • A student researching this topic would find it useful as a resource
  • The paleontological story told in this article would make an excellent assignment for instructors teaching biological nomenclature or how science and society interact
Concerns:
  • Users who encounter this site may not understand its utility
  • The materials, and the way they are presented are very straightforward
  • The information presented is very narrow and not deep enough to meet academic requirements

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths:
  • The website is easy to use and the article is graphically nicely presented (with a large print block at the beginning and the full article below)
  • There are numerous ways of sharing this article provided, from printing, to email to many social media platforms
Concerns:
  • None

Other Issues and Comments: None.