This site offers an innovative method to examine brain function. These divisions focus on structure, sensation, learning and information processing. Each segment provides "modules", "adventures" and "guidebooks" that give more detail as well as application of concepts. Despite the complexity of some ideas, animation and a video game backdrop are inviting.
The site is designed to provide the learner with an interactive illustration of various psychological concepts. The activities provide students with an opportunity to further their understanding and appreciation of topics such as perception and sensation, learning, and neuronal interaction.
Target Student Population:
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Some previous exposure to the subjects addressed, especially sensation and perception, would be needed to get maximal benefit from the use of the site.
Type of Material:
The site contains animations, text, video clips, detailed graphics, and interactive exercises.
This site would best be used as an adjunct to the topics addressed. It is not designed to stand alone.
Some form of media vehicle with video capabilities, such as Quick Time or Windows Media, is needed.
Evaluation and Observation
This site provides a great deal of material packed into well-designed and organized modules. The learner can do things such as experience the Stroop Task in a variety of forms, engage in a signal detection exercise, experience how colors are mixed, see a negative afterimage, test their reaction time, operantly condition "Fuzz", and watch video of the learning and development of the ape Vickie. Complicated concepts are delivered in a light-hearted and non-threatening manner, with amusing touches such as the professor's Freud-like accent. The appeal to millennium students who thrive on video games and technical stimulation should be high.
Two links did not work and led to an error message. If a sequence was intended, it was not conveyed. Some of the directions could be more clear and parts of the site are still "under construction".
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The activities and interactive experiences would strengthen student interest and understanding of important psychological ideas. The format would be engaging for today's college student.
While the material is interesting and important, there should be some note or guidance for students who need more detail and further explanation.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
All of the activities and demonstrations work well.
Some buttons at the bottom of the page were covered by a tool bar and might be overlooked. There seemed to be no real "conclusion" or ending, but rather a circular navigation. The inclusion of some type of "post test" or follow-up assessment would be a welcome addition. The navigation is designed to be visually appealing and enticing, but this tends to make it more complicated than need be.
Other Issues and Comments:
This is a well-designed interactive site that is inviting for students. The story theme adds a great deal to the overall message. This is an excellent site and worthy of consideration for use in the appropriate courses. Students will gain much from visiting this site.