This is a brief description of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) including text, illustration, and an animation of the proces
Type of Material:
Reference with text and animation
html, acrobat reader
Identify Major Learning Goals:
To describe components of and steps in polymerase chain reaction
Target Student Population:
Upper level college student
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Introductory knowledge of DNA structure and replication
Accurate material with well written text.
Good figures and animation to illustrate the steps in a PCR reaction.
Brief and directed discussion of PCR process
Drawings are clear and uncluttered
Animation enhances understanding
Shows a gel at the bottom of the page, but does not explain to students what this means.
A glossary to define terms like primer, polymerase, nucleotide, annealing, denaturation, 5', 3' would be helpful for students.
Animation would be a bit difficult for some students to follow.
Animation only repeats a single cycle and thus fails to emphasize the power of exponential replication
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
A good supplement to a text or lecture.
Would be possible to write questions based upon material in tutorial.
Can serve as resource in biology courses where PCR is not in text but is relevant to course material
It would be nice to link the text to some example problems or questions.
Only a student with a pretty strong background in molecular biology would be able to understand this site on their own.
A better reference on PCR than a teaching tool.
Some background may be lacking for nonmajors such as role of primers or importance of 5? and 3? directions
Does not challenge student?s understanding with any questions
Does not link to other sites for further exploration about PCR or using PCR
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
(4) (4) = (4.0)
Follows a logical flow.
All links work well
Simple, straightforward site
It would help to have additional links to supplemental materials
Needs to have more information to insure understanding such as a glossary or pop-up definitions
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