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Peer Review

Solving Medical Mysteries - Intro to Epidemiology



Overall Numeric Rating:

4.5 stars
Content Quality: 4.75 stars
Effectiveness: 4.5 stars
Ease of Use: 4.75 stars
Reviewed: Dec 17, 2012 by Biology Editorial Board
Overview: This module is part of a series of games that teach concepts in medicine, epidemiology, environmental biology, and criminal forensics. The material is targeted at middle school and higher biology students. There are multiple games that students can choose or be assigned to. Each game is independent and has its own learning objectives and supplementary materials. There are extensive teaching materials available for all the games on the hosting website.
Type of Material: Interactive video game about testing hypothesizes and learning about viral/bacterial diseases around the world
Recommended Uses: This module can be used as an assignment, during class if computers are available, as a team project
Technical Requirements: Users must have Adobe Flash Player (Version 9 or newer for most games, and version 10 for the latest) installed. Operating System Requirements: Macintosh computers running Mac OS 10.0 (or higher) PCs with at least 2.0 GHz CPU, running Windows XP (or higher) For best performance, use a computer with at least 1GB of RAM (memory). Web Browsers supported: Internet Explorer version 7.0 or higher (PC only) Mozilla Firefox version 3.0 or higher (PC and Mac) Safari version 3.0 or higher (Mac only) Opera version 9.0 or higher (PC and Mac) If you have changed the zoom level on your browser, you may encounter performance problems or unpredictable events while playing the game. Reset your zoom level to 100%.
Identify Major Learning Goals: Learn how to test a hypothesis and run a successful experiment while learning how to become a future scientist.
Target Student Population: The authors state the material is developed for middle school and higher students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Basic biology is helpful but not required, the instructions and explanations are all given throughout the game.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.75 stars
  • The content is well organized and follows good pedagogy for learning concepts in microbiology and epidemiology
  • Material is complete for understanding multiple concepts in epidemiology and disease transmission.
  • The learning objects are interactive and engaging
  • Animations and simulations are accurate and straightforward
  • Quality of graphics is excellent and provides enough detail for this level of understanding
  • Fun and interactive way to present complex scientific testing principles Use real tools that are used in a modern biology lab Allowed to choose different experimental designs When you make a mistake it allows you to correct yourself and tells you why that was a wrong answer
  • None, maybe too long and would love to pause it and save for later.

  • Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

    Rating: 4.5 stars
    • This is a perfect starting point for learning about epidemiology outbreaks.
    • The material is interactive and hence, keeps users actively involved with the learning experience
    • Engages students in a problem solving activity and provides ample opportunity to learn the objectives stated.
    • Assessment throughout the activity ensures that students are actively participating and gaining the appropriate knowledge.
    • Assignments and teaching resources provided by the site are excellent and enhance the ability to use this site.
    • There are no concerns with teaching effectiveness.

    Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

    Rating: 4.75 stars
    • The information is well-organized and flows easily from one topic to another
    • Adobe Flash Animations load quickly and run smoothly
    • Good interactivity is promoted through use of a mouse
    • No defects were detected in the way the animation is presented
    • Information is easy to understand
    • There were no concerns about ease of use at the time of this review

    Other Issues and Comments: This is great site to learn about many concepts in epidemiology as well as microbiology.