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MERLOT II

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Peer Review


The Biology Project: Biochemistry

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4.33 stars
Content Quality: 4 stars
Effectiveness: 4 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Mar 14, 2002 by Chemistry Editorial Board
Overview: This site is part of the larger site called " The Biology Project" developed by the University of Arizona. The Biochemistry site consists of an excellent set of topics and exercises. It also includes a section on Molecular Visualization activities. Even after several attempts, this reviewer was not able to carry out any of the Molecular Visualization activities using the recommended modeling software downloaded from the link provided in the section
Learning Goals: Problems sets and exercises in understanding Biochemistry
Target Student Population: Biochemistry students (some parts are oriented to Univeristy of Arizona students)
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Taking Biochemistry course and special visualization software
Type of Material: Tutorial
Technical Requirements: To use all of the materials, you must download special visualization software.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: The tutorials and exercises are excellent and provide a very good tool for learning
Concerns: There are two main categories of topics: "Chemistry of Life" and "Energy Reactions".
The problem sets under "Chemistry of Life" include
"Chemistry Tutorial": not a very well-organized set of information
"Large Molecules": Good problem set and tutorials but not a good introduction
"Acids and Bases": Some tutorials give good information but others are confusing
"Clinical Correlates of pH Levels": Several very challenging problems included with very good tutorials.

The student needs to have the textbook readily accessible while working through these exercises
"B12/Folate" : Good section
The problem sets under "Energy Reactions" include:
"Energy, Enzymes and Catalysis": extensive set of problems
"Metabolism":
Carbohydrate Regulation"
"Photosynthesis 1"
Photosynthesis 2"

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: In conjunction with a textbook this can be a comprehensive learning module.
Concerns: In conjunction with a textbook this can be a comprehensive learning module.

As mentioned earlier this reviewer could not work the Molecular Visualization" activities even after several attempts. This may be due to a limitation of my computer or my ability to use the molecular modeling software

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: Well laid-out and it is easy to explore the tutorials and the problem sets
Concerns: The Biochemistry section is part of a larger site called "The Biology Project". It consists of tutorials and problem sets on several different topics. The tutorials are linked to the appropriate questions in the problem sets and effective feedback is provided to the user. A correct answer choice results in a brief explanation validating the answer and an incorrect choice results in being linked to the appropriate tutorial for that concept

Unfortunately, vocabulary section is not active