The C3, C4, and CAM plants site is an interactive learning experience that will help users understand the differences between C3, C4, and CAM plants and how they operate under various conditions. This site provides a well organized and an interactive learning experience for its users. The material is presented in a simple and informative way.
Type of Material:
This material could be used in the classroom, or might be better suited for individuals who wish to learn on their own pace.
This site requires Flashplayer 8+.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
This site is designed to teach concepts using animations. It is designed by a subect expert, education expert and computer designer.
Users will learn about how the different types of plants bind CO2 during photosynthesis.
Target Student Population:
High school and undergraduates will benefit from this site.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Some plant biology knowlege would be useful. The resource requires some facility with interactive websites as well.
The information is accurate and provides a good basic background about the material
Interactivity keeps users interested in the material
The information is accurate and fairly interesting
Animations are well done and show good detail
The topics are well-organized
Quality of graphics is very good
Animations and simulations are straightforward
The animations are good quality
The animations greatly simply the processes of carbon fixation which facilitates understanding the major concepts
The content is very basic--some terms are not explained
The simplifications make the material very basic--more detail could be included wihtout making the resource too confusing
The C4 section indicates that PEP carboxylase fixes CO2 using an existing 3-carbon molecule to form a 4-carbon molecule, however, in the CAM section it is said that PEP carboxylase creates a 4-carbon organic acid. These should be regularized.
Only a few examples of C4 and CAM plants are given, which does not capture the range of plants that use these pathways
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The pedagogy of providing information is a nice blend of learning and interactivity
li>The images shown are colorful and engaging
Animations are easy to follow
The material is logically presented
Material is presented in such a way that it can be used in lecture
The animations are engaging
There is a self-quiz at the end
There is some interactivity (clicking buttons to activate animations)
The self-quiz only includes 3 questions, all of which are lower level thinking--some critical thinking questions would be nice
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The information is well organized
Site is fast and intuitive
No defective links or major bugs were found
Very easy to navigate to the different major sections of site
The information is organized and follows a logical order
Animation flows very easily
There is a menu that expands with mouse roll-over, which allows navigation to any page in the animation
The layout is easy to follow in general
There does not appear to be accessibility for some disabilities
The molecules in one section are represented by grey, light blue, and red circles; I used a colorblind simulator and found the blue balls are visible but the red and gray appear identical--even without colorblindness, the colors are hard to distinguish as rendered
Other Issues and Comments:
The authors have done a great job with this site.
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