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Peer Review

Toxic Transport (PBS)

by PBS-Thirteen/WNET


Overall Numeric Rating:

3.25 stars
Content Quality: 3.5 stars
Effectiveness: 3.25 stars
Ease of Use: 3.25 starsstar
Reviewed: May 14, 2010 by Fire Safety
Overview: Issues and concerns with the transportation of toxic materials and its potential implications to terrorism.
Type of Material: Video; PBS web program.
Recommended Uses: As a supplement to lecture instruction when discussing chemical transport or terrorism response; As a learning module for online course delivery for the same topics; Could be used for a research source because of its creditability and affiliation with the Public Broadcast System (PBS).
Technical Requirements: Internet browser; adequate Internet speeds; one of the following video players (Microsoft Media Player, RealPlayer, Quicktime Player). Best results in large view format seem to be from MS Media Player.
Identify Major Learning Goals: Realize the amount of toxic material that is transported; Identify the potential for terrorist to use these materials as a weapon; Learn what the government is doing, or not doing about this situation.
Target Student Population: High-school and college level students; Fire and emergency service workers; Local, State, and Federal Government workers; Health and safety industry workers; Transporation industry workers.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Chemistry of Hazardous Materials

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 3.5 stars
Strengths: Current transportation issues and critical information.
Concerns: Since 90% of the nation is rural the majority of the first responder community could be offended by the lack of concern for non metro locations.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 3.25 stars
Strengths: Offers a good view into what is transported throughout this country and how potential terrorist can use that to their advantage to re-attack the US.
Concerns: Again, the length of the program and the common occurance of "dry" bureaucratic discussions may inhibit loss of attention.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 3.25 stars
Strengths: Offers several video format options and links to the different players. All players worked, however MS Media Player seemed to have the best quality in the large window setting. By clicking on link the video started and changing player type was done by selecting the appropriate player link (assuming the player was loaded onto computer).
Concerns: Large version of RealPlayer video was slow to respond and lagged the audio.

Other Issues and Comments: Too broad in nature it does NOT give alternatives. Students may look at the video and come to the conclusion that there is nothing we can do. Links to a copy of the transcript, its offering in audio only format (MP3), and email sharing were nice additions.