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| Introduction |
The series consists of 13 units. Each unit comprises a thirty-minute video, an online textbook chapter, and a set of learning activities. The videos and the text chapters can be used independently; if both are used, it is possible to start with either one. We imagine that most users will watch the video first, then read the chapter, and perhaps watch the video again and do the learning activities. A course guide, available on this site in downloadable PDF documents, provides information for using the materials in a class or workshop session.
The purpose of the Web site is both to organize the different components of the project and to provide a place for additional information. A comprehensive glossary defines important terms from the online textbook chapters that are used throughout the series, and provides links to text and animations where these concepts are explained or used. Animations from the videos are available on the Web site so that users may study them in more detail, play them repeatedly, or pause in the middle to study them. Transcripts of interviews with scientists provide a rare opportunity for a more in-depth look at the research and insights of scientists who are associated with many of the leading discoveries in biology today.
Order of Units
Users may decide to study all 13 units or they may be interested in a single one. Each unit is meant to stand alone, but we often refer to ideas and techniques presented in other units. We have organized the units so that techniques such as microarray analysis or BLAST searches, which are used in several units, are explained early in the series. An html form of the text is available on the Web; from it, users may navigate through the various units and the different components.
The online textbook chapters are not simply a repeat of what is in the video. Rather, they show how information from the video fits into the larger field. In other words, they provide context for the focused examples presented in the video. One central theme present in nearly all of the chapters of the online text is the role that genetic and genomic studies have had in increasing our understanding of the various fields of biology.
Four interactive case studies showcase a real line of scientific research. After viewing explanatory and background material on the project, the participant chooses an experiment to perform or a hypothesis to test. Each case study is an independent activity but incorporates information from several units. Because the case studies go into greater depth than the videos and texts and rely on information from them, it is best to do them after completing the other components.
Note: You will need a copy of the Flash player version 6 or higher to view the case studes on this site. You can can also view a non-flash version of the case studies. The Flash Player is available free for download from macromedia.com. Get the Flash Player.
Expert Interview Transcripts
Each of the 13 videos contains interviews with three or more experts in the field. Because only selected components from each interview are included in each video, the Web site features the edited transcripts of the interviews in their entirety. There are a total of sixty-four interviews with today's leading biologists.
Each unit contains several learning activities tailored to the information in the unit. These activities include simple review and discussion questions; exercises that demonstrate how data are generated, interpreted, and applied; and explorations of ethical issues. Most of the activities assume the participants are familiar with the unit's video and online text.
Image & Animation Archive
Each of the animations that appear in the 13 videos in Rediscovering Biology can be viewed in the Animation Archive, either as a QuickTime movie or as a still image that encapsulates it. The Image Archive contains selected images that appear in the videos, as well as the images and figures contained in the online textbook for each unit. A credit and description accompanies each item.
Note: You will need a copy of the QuickTime player to view the animations on this site. QuickTime is available free for download from apple.com.
The Glossary of Key Terms is composed of a select group of words drawn from the online textbook chapter for each unit. Each word is linked to a definition; the chapter section of the Textbook in which it appears; and a list of related terms, images, and animations. Each of these items can be accessed directly from within the glossary.
Paired with the Learning Activities, the course guide allows a workshop facilitator to use all the course materials with a group in prescribed sequence for professional development points or graduate credit. The course guide is accessible on the web site as PDF files and also in printed book form.