Today I am excited to share one of my favorite learning materials with you. This is one of the first activities that piqued my interest in instructional design, although I didn’t know it at the time.
In my high school AP Psychology class my teacher shared Mouse Party with us when we hit the unit on drugs and consciousness. At the time it was a funny, quick way to visually connect the use of certain drugs with their physical symptoms and briefly review their affects on neurotransmitters.
When I got to college, I circled back to Mouse Party in my Pharmacokinetics class. Sure, we were going into much deeper detail than the brief videos could provide, but—especially for the trickier substances— the simple and clear illustrations were an invaluable foundation for more intricate knowledge to grow.
It wasn’t until grad school that I could really put my finger on what I loved about Mouse Party: its beautifully executed instructional strategy!
It’s got everything: humor, voiceover with animation, text review, plain and simple language. The only thing this interaction doesn’t include is the ability to practice or test knowledge gained from participation. While the addition of an interactive review might enhance the instructional impact, it would also make Mouse Party heavier and more complicated, and its simplicity is part of its charm.
I continue to be thrilled with the resources provided by the Genetic Science Learning Center. Aside from being downright evangelical about Mouse Party, I also suggest the Learn.Genetics site to my K-12 instructor friends and anyone else as enthusiastic about ID as I am.
Their website is chock full of fun instructional resources covering genetics, human health, cell biology, neuroscience, and ecology. (And the website provides its own citation in APA format—Be still my beating heart!).
So what do you think? Is my nostalgia taking over here or is Mouse Party—and Utah’s Learn.Genetics site in general— the best thing ever?
Genetic Science Learning Center. (2015, January 7) Learn.Genetics. Retrieved August 09, 2017, from http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/