This website by the nonprofit educational research and development organization, Concord Consortium, allowed for simulations such as cellular respiration, genetics, meiosis, diffusion, selection pressures, photosynthesis, protein synthesis, and a variety of other biological processes and topics.
Type of Material:
Website with interactive downloadable apps to demonstrate various topics in science.
These modules and interactives could be used by students individual, in online classes or as assignments. Instructors might be able to use them in class as well.
Web browser. The interactives seem to rely on Java Runtime version 5. There are some HTML5 modules as well.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
None given, and these would vary by activity or interactive. The mission of the Concord Consortium is "To ignite large-scale improvements in teaching and learning through technology."
Target Student Population:
The target student population includes high school and undergraduate students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
None. These modules appropriate for lower division introductory college courses, with no prerequisites.
Evaluation and Observation
Interactivity--most of these modules have significant active learner engagement
The topics presented for biology include some of the notoriously difficult topics (DNA to protein, respiration)
The information seems generally accurate
Simulations are concise and easy to comprehend as well as having great graphics
The graphics are unrealistic to the actual model but this allows for students to have a better understanding of a simplified process
The unit on osmosis is incorrect about how osmosis works
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The interactive activities are engaging and should prove highly effective for students
The ability to set up small experiments using the interactive functions is a great feature
The quizzes in the units are very effective at reinforcing the material
The text descriptions of the topics are useful as well
This is a unique way of learning
The use of the interactives may require some computer skills that are beyond some students
Some of the introductory is quite long and not very engaging
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The units are downloadable and some are apparently being developed for use on the internet using HTML
The site is well organized
Instructors can sort the activities and interactives by discipline, by educational level and by resource type--a very nice feature
The units are downloadable and allow portability
Instructors have a large range of activities and interactive simulations by discipline
There is a note about some known Java issues, especially with Mac mavericks
The downloadable interactives require Java Runtime, which frequently causes problems for students; there is a instructional note about some known Java issues