A OER textbook chapter on the neurobiology of circadian rhythms, including sections on circadian patterns in Drosophilia and mammals.
Type of Material:
Open Educational Resource (OER) textbook.
This textbook chapter or portions thereof could be used as required or recommended reading for courses covering circadian rhythms and periodicity. Self-assessment questions are included after each section for students to check their understanding. Images are open access and can be used in slideshows or student presentations.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Students will learn:
The defining characteristics of circadian rhythms.
The molecular machinery that runs cellular rhythms in mammals and insect.
The neural structures that regulate and coordinate our behavioral expression of circadian rhythmicity.
The role of circadian rhythms in health and disease.
Target Student Population:
College Lower Division
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Students should have some familiarity with basic principles of biology, including the fundamentals of molecular biology, genetic expression, neurobiology, and neuroanatomy.
Includes accurate and detailed overview of circadian rhythms
Covers mechanisms in Drosophia as well as humans
Appropriate level for an undergraduate college textbook
Explains concepts clearly and in detail
Appropriate figures accompany the text
Sources are listed
More examples might improve as a textbook chapter
At least one section repeats some information (blind response to sleep cycle)
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Well organized (material is divided into sections)
Learning goals for the chapter are clearly identified at the beginning of the text
Includes key terms
Includes numerous embedded multiple-choice assessment "checkpoints", which consist of quiz questions and answers, and include explanations of the correct answers
Useful list of relevant brain regions
Fundamental concepts and terms are explained when they are introduced, and headings/subheadings are used to organize information; this makes it easy for students to find the material they're searching for and/or to understand how concepts relate to each
Hyperlinks in the chapter to relevant external information would be useful
A summary of chapter key points would be useful
May not be ADA compliant or usable by visually impaired people if a header 1, 2, 3, etc. hierarchy is not used
Would be helpful to separate the answers from the multiple-choice questions so that students could use them in situ without easily seeing the answers (e.g., providing the answers at the bottom of the page or at the end of the chapter may improve their usefulness for retrieval practice)
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The layout is generally effective--clear and easy-to-navigate for the reader
Most links to sources worked
Images are labeled and described clearly, and the chapter generally has a professional appearance
The textbook chapter is usable under a CC 4.0 license, making it very usable for students and faculty
There were a few very minor inconsistencies in terms of layout and format that may confuse some readers
Sections could be standardized (font size, bold, underline, etc.)
Standardize font sizes and colors of sources
An outline of the chapter would be useful at the beginning
References could be formatted consistently and standardized
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