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Peer Review


by Cato Tandberg , Bjørn Vidnes , Wenche Erlien


Overall Numeric Rating:

4.75 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 4.75 stars
Ease of Use: 4.75 stars
Reviewed: Mar 30, 2014 by Biology Editorial Board
Overview: The Viten Photosynthesis web resource developed by Wenche Erlien (The Norwegian Centre for Science Education), Cato Tandberg (Center for School Science, Dept. of Biology, University of Oslo) and Bjørn Vidnes (The Norwegian Centre for Science Education) is a top notch learning tool for students in General Biology or Botany courses.
Type of Material: Website with animations and interactive activities.
Recommended Uses: Students would find this a useful adjunct to learning the mechanics is photosynthesis.
Technical Requirements: Web browser and Adobe Flash player.
Identify Major Learning Goals: No specifically stated learning goals.
Target Student Population: High-school or lower division college studetns.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Some knowledge of plants and biomolecules would be helpful.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
  • Animations are engaging
  • Includes material about C3, C$ and CAM photosynthesis
  • Covers the molecular, cellular and anatomical aspects of photosynthesis
  • All content appears to be accurate
  • The mechanism is simplified for learners new to photosynthesis
  • None

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.75 stars
  • Clear and easy to understand animations that will draw students in
  • Brief, but informative, text supplements animations
  • Interactive quizzes keep student interest
  • The results are given immediately with corrections if desired
  • Workbook allows student to review previous work and continue their progress
  • Many of the activities and animations are at the comprehension level, and while some of the questions involve critical thinking, there is not much flexibility in the possible solutions
  • A registration is required to allow students to type answers into the answer boxes
  • Some animations can be a bit slow to load over WiFi

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.75 stars
  • Organization and navigation are excellent
  • The animations worked on Mac (Firefox, Safari) and PC (Firefox)
  • The material is available in a several languages
  • Some material is presented on pop up windows that may be blocked on some users computers, which would require unblocking to view

Other Issues and Comments: None.