Evaluation of The Virtual Cells Software: a Teaching Tool

C.C.P. da Silva, N.F. dos Santos, L.M. Beltramini


Studies show that the use of games and interactive materials  at schools is a good educational strategy, motivating students to create mental  outlines and developing the reasoning and facilitating  the learn- ing. In this context, the Scientific Dissemination Coordination of the Center  for Structural Molecular Biotechnology  (CBME),  developed  a series of educational materials  destined  to the  elementary and high  schools,  universities  and  general  public.   Among  these,  we highlighted  the  Virtual  Cells soft- ware that was developed  with  the  aim of helping  in the  understanding of the  basic concepts  of cell types,  their  structures, organelles  and  specific functions.   Characterized by its  interactive  interface, this  software shows eukaryotes  and prokaryotes cells images, where organelles are shown as dynamic structures. In addition, it presents exercises in another  step that reinforce the comprehension  of Cy- tology.  A speaker  narrates the  resources  offered by the  program  and  the  necessary  steps  for its use. During  the  stage  of development of the  software,  students and  teachers of public and  private  high schools from Sao Carlos  city, Sao Paulo  State,  were invited  to register their  opinions  regarding  the language and content of the software in order to help us in the improvement of it.  After this stage, the Scientific Dissemination Coordination of CBME organized a series of workshops, where 120 individuals evaluated the software (students and teachers  of high school and others undergraduate students). For this evaluation, a questionnaire was elaborated based on the international current literature in the area of sciences teaching  and it was applied  after the interactive section with the software.  The analysis of the results demonstrated that most of the individuals  considered the software of easy handling,  having an accessible language,  supporting the  software  as an education  tool that is capable  to facilitate  the learning  of the fundamental concepts  about the theme.  Other  workshops are programmed to happen with participants from different educational institutions of Sao Carlos  city,  with the goal to broaden our sample.


prokaryotes cells images, CBME.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.16923/reb.v3i1.165


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