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Peer Review

Inside the Cell

by Alisa Zapp Machalek


Overall Numeric Rating:

4.5 stars
Content Quality: 4.5 stars
Effectiveness: 4.25 stars
Ease of Use: 4.75 stars
Reviewed: Jan 05, 2014 by Biology Editorial Board
Overview: NIH online textbook with materials on cell structure, cell cycle, cell types, and aging. Also contains some animations and a crossword puzzle.
Type of Material: Web site broken down as chapters in a book with great anecdotes. Starts out talking about the microscope finish talking about the parts of the cell and a few examples of different types of cells. As well as a few questions at the end to evaluate if the user has learned the material.
Recommended Uses: This would be great to add to a lecture or to use a supplemental learning material
Technical Requirements: Video viewing software.
Identify Major Learning Goals: The goals of this website is to educate new students on function and structure of animal cells. It also provides wonderful scientific stories to help bing the material to life. One example is where they talk about telomeres and goes into a story on Werner’s syndrome where a person ages excessively due to genetic mutations
Target Student Population: Introductory biology.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Basic biology.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.5 stars
  • Great basic information on the parts of the cell and their functionality. Set up as popular scientific writing to get the reader engaged and well informed about the material.
  • Provides a general descriptive overview of the material. The material is geared for an introduction to Cell Biology class that is learning about cells and the functionality of the different organelles contained in the cells.
  • Great way to compare and contrast prokaryotes vs. eukaryotes .
  • Concerns:
  • Wish there was a video that walked students through the different parts of the cell.
  • Wish you had more content after the five chapters.
  • Movies and animations lack narration.
  • Text is fairly static.

  • Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

    Rating: 4.25 stars
  • Great additions to any power points and the evaluation questions really helps make sure that the content was absorbed by the student.
  • Great way to learn the parts of the cell and their function.
  • Great questions at the end of the chapters.
  • Good text, well written.
  • Good animations and videos.
  • Could create assignments based on the materials.
  • Concerns:
  • First page of website basic and may lose readers attention.
  • Videos and animations lack narration.

  • Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

    Rating: 4.75 stars
  • No instruction needed to navigate through this site, and really kept the basic user in mind when designing this website.
  • Easy to use.
  • Contains glossary.
  • Animations and videos load quickly.
  • Concerns: none

    Other Issues and Comments: Great site to add a supplemental information for a cell biology or introduction to biology class