This animation provides a nice illustration of oxygenic photosynthesis in bacterial cells and differs slightly from what is observed in eukaryotic cells. It clearly illustrates this complex process in prokaryotes. The outside of the cell is at the top and the inside of this cell is at the bottom of the animation. This learning object shows that bacteria use light energy to pump protons outside of the cell, creating an electrochemical gradient just to the outside of the cell membrane. Potential energy is then used to push protons through a membrane-bound ATPase that enables phosphorylation of ADP to ATP inside the cell. Eukaryotes differ in that, oxygenic photosynthesis occurs in the thylakoid membrane and protons build up inside the thylakoid chamber. This being the case, the animation for prokaryotic photosynthesis presented here can provide a good thought-provoking discussion of how the mechanism differs between prokaryotes and eukaryotes.
Type of Material:
This learning object is presented exclusively through animation.
This animation can be used in lecture or laboratory settings to quickly and efficiently show oxygenic photosynthesis in bacteria. The site can be used in class to illustrate and supplement lecture material. Alternatively, it can be used as an out-of?class assignment to investigate the events of photosynthesis. The site is also appropriate as a laboratory exercise supplement.
Macromedia Shockwave Player is required to view the animation.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Students will learn oxygenic photosynthesis in bacteria as a process rather than a series of independent events. The site is clearly designed to help students understand interactions between inputs, molecular components, and outputs of photosynthesis. Careful attention will also allow students to better understand the uniqueness of photosynthesis in prokaryotes.
Target Student Population:
This site is targeted for experienced college students who have some background knowledge of photosynthesis.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Some understanding of the light-dependent reactions of photosynthesis will help students understand the symbols used and the processes involved. Use of web browser will be required.
-Accurate photosynthetic mechanism for bacterial cells -Sequence of inputs as well as resulting electron flow and products accurately depicted -Shows complete process for oxygenic photosynthesis -Good quality graphics -Placement of graphics carefully planned -Clearly laid out
-There should be a statement indicating that this is a prokaryotic mechanism -Animation page should clearly state that this diagram is applicable to prokaryotes only -It might be useful to provide labels for the inside and outside of the cell
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
-Very nice mechanism showing uniqueness of prokaryotic oxygenic photosynthesis -Clearly shows relationships between all components and molecular activity of this process -Promotes conceptual understanding of photosynthesis as a process -Makes visible what is happening in a sequential manner. -Well-designed to stimulate conversation about photosynthetic mechanisms -Entices problem solving and application -Demonstrates relationships between structure and function
-Unless stated otherwise, some users may not know this mechanism is specific for bacterial oxygenic photosynthesis -Some users may get confused about the orientation of the membrane (which part is outside and which part is inside the cell) -As presented, the mechanism requires a little explanation before viewing to fully appreciate what is being demonstrated -It might be helpful to have a text link explaining the mechanism for users who are not familiar with photosynthesis
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
-The animation is intuitive and requires little instruction to start -The animation plays at a comfortable speed -Combination of sound with each part of process is very helpful to student in keeping track of what event is occurring at each moment -Animation can be replayed until students grasp the concept -No major bugs and no defective links
-The animation cannot be stopped once it begins playing -Ability for user to control and repeat process in steps would greatly help learning -Although exciting, the animation sound can be a little annoying
Other Issues and Comments:
This is unique and nice illustration for oxygenic photosynthesis in bacterial cells. It might be especially useful to test student knowledge about the difference(s) between photosynthesis in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Photosynthesis is a complex topic and this clear animation provides motion, color, and sound to improve student understanding of the process. The animation runs smoothly and shows photosynthesis as a process rather than a set of separate events. The site accurately meets the needs of the target audience.
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