Producing Interactive Web-Based Animations for an Introductory Biology Course

  • Woodward, Denise D.M. (PI)
  • Cyr, Richard (CoPI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


This project provides high quality interactive web-based tutorials for students to use outside of class in order to learn basic concepts in general biology. The tutorials use animations that dynamically illustrate important principles of biology. Success in this endeavor allows an instructor to use class time in more innovative and interactive ways. Additionally, these interactive animations are sometimes used by the instructor during class time to help draw the students' attention to important aspects of the illustrated phenomena, and to challenge students to think critically about the processes, since they require the students to synthesize ideas and formulate questions that reinforce important concepts. The animations are embedded within the tutorial framework so instructors can take advantage of available reporting features.

Intellectual merit: These animations help students investigate the nature of feedback loops in biological regulation at multiple levels of biological organization. Additional animations investigate the consequences of metabolic poisons in cellular respiration. Assessments of the animations include documentation of gains in student learning (as measured by test performance) and a study of HOW students are using the animations. An important aspect of the tutorials is reporting features that provide students and instructors with information on student progress and behavior.

Broader impacts: The animations and tutorials are distributed nationally through BioCoop, a cooperative to recognize authors appropriately as well as disseminate the materials nationally. McGraw-Hill Higher Education is interested in developing licensing arrangements with BioCoop.

Effective start/end date2/15/051/31/10


  • National Science Foundation: $75,000.00


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