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Peer Review

DNA Replication Fork

by Richard Losick


Overall Numeric Rating:

4.75 stars
Content Quality: 4.75 stars
Effectiveness: 4.75 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Jan 15, 2013 by Biology Editorial Board
Overview: This website focuses on how the replication fork and associated proteins work together spatially and temporally to make copies of DNA. Richard Losick has put together a simple, but elegant visual learning tool.
Type of Material: Flash Animation
Recommended Uses: This could be useful as a visual tool during a lecture on DNA replication or alternatively by sudents as a supplemental activity.
Technical Requirements: Adobe Flash. It works fine in Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer.
Identify Major Learning Goals: Although these are not clearly stated on the website, it will help students to visualize and better understand the processes involved in DNA replicaiton.
Target Student Population: High school biology and undergraduate biology students interested in the molecular world.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: An introductory knowledge of DNA and enzymes as biomolecules would be beneficial.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.75 stars
  • Focused on a specific content area
  • Website seems to easily play on multiple platorms and does not require any special programs or hardware
  • Good quality graphics are used
  • Pause, play, forward and backward controls for stepping through the animation
  • The animation provides a simplistic overview to help students understand the basic processes involved in DNA replication
  • The site provides only basic details about the "replication fork" and does not provide much information about the origin of replication

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.75 stars
  • Website would be effective as a supplemental learning tool for college general education courses or high school biology
  • Could easily replace a lecture covering same topic
  • Would make an excellent resource in a flipped classroom
  • Overall extremely effective
  • May require some background information to be effective

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
  • As long as Flash Play is functioning well, this website is very easy to use
  • The first animation automatically plays and the user can pause the animations at any time or click around to see the other animations and descriptions
  • None

Other Issues and Comments: None