Description of select technology components

Scenario software is written with flexibility and ease of navigation in mind.  Figure 1. illustrates a sample screen.  The control panel at the bot­tom shows the user the present location within the program and allows the user to select the segment to be shown or to display a timer (for group activities), concept glossary, textbook page numbers, flow chart or concept map of the lesson, or related laboratory activities.  These allow the faculty immediate access at any time. The buttons allow the user to point to objects and have them identified or to acti­vate the animation.   Animations are con­trolled by on screen pushbut­tons or “hot spots”.  Diagram labels appear when the user points to a location.   Humorous effects or supplementary narrations or videos can be accessed or skipped at the user’s discretion.

Figure 2.  shows the Virtual Spectrophotometer. It allows students to select a plant pigment and measure absorption spectra by adjusting wavelength and recording absorption.  They can simultaneously measure the absorption spectrum of an extract they prepare from plants using a real spectro­photometer.  The Virtual Spectrophotometer receives the data directly from the spectrophotometer and overlays the real and the virtual data.  Students who choose to do this experiment can then compare the absorption spectra.  Students may use simulations along with real experiments to test their hypotheses.

Figure 3. shows a segment of the Plasmid Mapping Tutorial.  This pre-lab helps students pre­pare for laboratories in which they investigate factors affecting antibiotic resistance in bacteria and use bacterial transformation and gel electrophoresis to identify the characteristics of a plas­mid. Using the tutorial, students can learn about restriction enzymes and how to construct a plasmid map from the DNA fragments found on a gel.  They also learn how to load a gel using this tutorial, associated digital video, and prac­tice materials in the Learning Resources Center.  The tutorials can also be found in our WWW-LRC which is accessible from the Zoology home page  (