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Peer Review

Basic Neural Processes Tutorials

by John Krantz


Overall Rating:

4.25 stars
Content Quality: 4.25 stars
Effectiveness: 4.25 stars
Ease of Use: 4.25 starsstar
Reviewed: Mar 14, 2011 by Communication Sciences and Disorders
Overview: This site is a tutorial for basic neural processes which focuses on physical factors for action potential. It was created for psychology students but could be used effectively in communication sciences and disorders. The site addresses the basic terminologies and provided animated descriptions of terms used. Quizzes are provided at each subject area to check knowledge learned.
Learning Goals: Exposure to concepts of action potential for neural processes and anatomy of the brain. The student will learn the anatomy of a neuron and to identify each of anatomical structure.
Target Student Population: Undergraduate and graduate students in speech pathology and audiology.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Need a basic understanding of anatomical structures and fundamental neuroanatomy.
Type of Material: Tutorial and quiz with animations and written descriptions.
Recommended Uses: This tutorial could be used as an in or out of class assignment for review of terms or as an introduction to concepts.
Technical Requirements: Basic internet access- Web page

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.25 stars
Strengths: Each topic area provides the essential concepts with written word and picture animations. Students can grasp why action potential functions as it does as opposed to gaining just simple knowledge. The short quizzes allow the student to practice what they just read. Good self evaluation of the material. Very good animations of material.
Concerns: The pages/ topics appear disjointed; it is difficult to determine how the topics are related to each other. Although animations are well presented, the tutorial does not offer a logic to why animations are presented. There are no citations or references, although the material appears to be accurate.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.25 stars
Strengths: The material is flexible. Students can complete the exercise in timely manner. The Illustration facilitates learning and retention.
Concerns: The material would have benefited from a clear introduction, and a statement of prerequisite knowledge and learning objectives. It was hard to navigate through the pages/concepts.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.25 stars
Strengths: Quizzes are provided in two separate formats almost like a pre-post test. The student does not have to answer the quizzes to get the answers. Clicking on the name of the area gives the definition.
Concerns: Site does not provide references for the information about neural actions...student would not be aware of where to go for additional information. Additional information would be useful as it could provide an opportunity for learning beyond the basic concepts taught.

Other Issues and Comments: This is a simple, easy-to-use test which helps students review or reinforce labeling of neuronal structures. Student has multiple opportunities to take this test and achieve a 100% score.