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Peer Review

Molecular Movies

by Gaƫl McGill


Overall Numeric Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 4.75 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Jan 05, 2014 by Biology Editorial Board
Overview: Molecular Movies is a collection of animations and tutorials about molecular processes in cell biology. In addition to providing a large number of useful animations the site also has a section on how to make animations and tutorials and links to a toolkit to use to develop your own materials. This web resource presents an organized directory of cell and molecular animations, as well as a collection of original tutorials for life science professionals learning 3D visualization. The goal is to provide an efficient way for scientists and educators to browse and access existing animations for teaching and communication purposes.
Type of Material: Animations.
Recommended Uses: Recommended uses would include both online supplementary viewing for students or during class lecture to supplement the course content.
Technical Requirements: Flash.
Identify Major Learning Goals: As stated by the creators of the site, "the goal is to provide an efficient way for scientists and educators to browse and access existing animations for teaching and communication purposes." From the perspective of the students, the learning goals would be to better understand complex molecular processes by viewing them in 3D animation.
Target Student Population: Undergraduate both upper and lower level and graduate level students in biological and biochemical sciences.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: The animations on this site supplement molecular processes. The processes should be covered before viewing the appropriate animations.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
  • State of the art animations on a variety of topics.
  • The videos are high quality 3D animations with voice over to provide explanation.
  • The topics that the site covers are varied and extremely useful for teaching the concepts that are difficult for students.
  • The content is accurate and delivered by faculty that are experts in their fields.
  • Concerns:
  • None.

  • Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

    Rating: 4.75 stars
  • Could write assignments based on the assignments.
  • Illustrate key concepts in biology.
  • The animations on this site are highly effective at teaching difficult concepts.
  • The voice over the animation is extremely useful for students who are struggling to understand difficult concepts.
  • Concerns:
  • No assignments provided.

  • Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

    Rating: 5 stars
  • Searchable and can be browsed.
  • Load quickly.
  • The videos load quickly and play on a standard platform.
  • The videos are labelled well and include a short synopsis that describes their use.
  • The website itself is well organized and searchable making it easy for faculty and students to locate the animation they need.
  • Concerns:
  • The software required might make it difficult to view on some mobile devices.