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Peer Review

Super 3D Mitosis Animation

by Geoffrey Stewart


Overall Numeric Rating:

3.25 stars
Content Quality: 3.25 stars
Effectiveness: 3.5 stars
Ease of Use: 3 stars
Reviewed: Dec 24, 2013 by Biology Editorial Board
Overview: This resource is a 3D animation of the phases of mitosis and is about 9 MB in size. The animation is a fly-through inside the cell, through several cellular organelles, and into the nucleus. The animation is lively but unless one is knowledgeable already on the phases of mitosis, one will not be able to tell what those 3-D objects encountered during the fly-through might be.
Type of Material: • Animation • Promotional material from the Hybrid Medical Animation company
Recommended Uses: In-class or online demonstration
Technical Requirements: • Flash • Quicktime • windows media
Identify Major Learning Goals: None stated, but this is a 3-D visual representation of the events inside the cell as it undergoes cell division. The animation shows mitotic events in a rapid succession of phases which probably simulates what is actually happening in real situation.
Target Student Population: High school or introductory college students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Basic genetics

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 3.25 stars
  • Realistic and complex images.
  • Moves quickly and is engaging.
  • Concerns: • Unless the viewer knows what the inside of the cell looks like, the fly-through is just another animation that does not communicate any substantial value. • Unless the organelles are identified, the viewer will not know which organelle is which • Unless the viewer has previous knowledge of the mitotic sequence, the movement of the chromosomes and the role of the spindle fibers as shown in this animation, this learning object will not really make any sense. • The images show all chromosomes to be of the same size which of course is not accurate • The animation lists “interphase” and “cytokinesis” as phases of mitosis. Technically, mitosis is nuclear division and cytokinesis is cytoplasmic division. • The music is distracting at times

    Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

    Rating: 3.5 stars
    Strengths: • The animation is glitzy and will most likely attract students just to see what it is about. • The images and music will initially attract viewers who are curious. • This animation can be used AFTER students have learned animal mitosis to reinforce images students may have about chromosome movement.
    Concerns: • Students will most probably tune out since there is no narration or any information that describes what is being demonstrated by the animation. • The demo assumes that viewers (students) are able to identify the 3-D objects as chromosomes, spindle fibers, etc. • The condensed chromosomes are identical in size which could lead a student to believe that all chromosomes come in one size.

    Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

    Rating: 3 stars
  • Easy to access, except for some mobile devices (current iPad and other non-android tablet users will probably not be able to use this Flash-based animation)
  • Concerns:
  • This animation assumes a lot of prior knowledge on the part of the student and can’t be used as a stand-alone learning object to demonstrate the process of mitosis.
  • No captions provided.

  • Other Issues and Comments: This is a “teaser” video. I don’t know if the company that produced this product has a full blown animation that has the learning objectives, is fully narrated, and the images labeled to make it useful in the classroom and online.