Interactive Video Vignettes
You can open a sample of each vignette in a new window by clicking on the title of the vignette in the table. If you wish to use any vignettes in your classes, follow the instructions in the MINT associated with that vignette, or contact Kate Wright for more information.
Hands On/Minds On: An Introduction to Active Learning
Associated MINT: Active Learning
Ability to apply the process of science
Active classrooms are most effective for learning
Two students compare experiences in an active vs. a passive classroom setting. Two professors also debate the merits of student-centered vs. instructor-centered strategies. One of the professors leads the user through several pieces of data showing that students learn more in a hands-on/minds-on environment.
Associated MINT: Gene Expression
Nonsense mutations affect protein expression but not transcription or replication
A group of undergraduates is working on a research project where they are trying to express a GFP fusion in a new cell line. They show that the DNA is incorporated into the genome and the mRNA is expressed, but they do not get green cells. Sequencing reveals that the incorporated gene contained a nonsense mutation, and students revise their ideas about how information is used at each level of gene expression.
Associated MINT: Acids Bases and Buffers
Systems & Structure and Function
Buffers regulate pH by absorbing and releasing protons
A biology student and her friend wonder why cell culture media changes from red to yellow as the culture ages. A link is made between CO2 release and bicarbonate and acid production. The students also design an experiment to test each of the ingredients in the media, and make the connection that chemical buffers can prevent acidification of the solution. The concept of a buffer is clarified by considering the buffering capacities of the buffer compared to the amino acids.
Associated MINT: Scientific Data Presentation
Populations exhibit variability due to abotic influences
Two students collecting field data disagree over the appropriate number of samples to take as well as how to represent the quantitative data. In the computer lab the students seek the help of a TA and work to understand the difference between raw and analyzed data, the correct way to represent categorical data, and the importance of proper statistics.
Why Didn’t You Write That Down?
Associated MINT: Osmosis
Structure and Function
Osmosis is a specialized diffusion resulting from the presence of a semi-permeable membrane
Students forgot to write concentrations of sugar on bottles of media needed for a laboratory experiment. Unable to make more media, the students are able to utilize equipment in the laboratory and set up a diffusion experiment to determine which bottle contains which solution.
Associated MINT: Respiration Carbon Cycle
Systems & Energy Transformation
The carbon link between decomposition and plants exists via gaseous carbon dioxide.
Students collecting data in a field course discover a dead, decomposing animal under a tree in the field. The students and their instructor have a discussion about decomposition, and the instructor asks how carbon from the animal becomes biomass in nearby plants. While students initially mis-identify uptake of carbon via roots, an experiment in decomposition allows students to link decomposer respiration to release of carbon dioxide, which can be taken up by plants and fixed via photosynthesis.
Associated MINT: Photosynthesis
Biosynthesis and cell growth are dependent on photosynthesis
A student is trying to figure out the minimal growth requirements for green algae. She discovers that algae do not require anything other than water, essential salts, CO2 from the air, and light for photosynthesis. In the end the student is able to make the connection that plants and green algae are able to utilize light energy to drive the production of glucose.
To Ferment or Not to Ferment: That Is the Question
Associated MINT: Fermentation Cell Respiration
Energy Transformation Environmental conditions (O2) influence metabolic pathways Two undergraduate biology students are puzzling over the results from a microbiology experiment meant to determine if a bacterial strain is capable of fermentation or not. They reason their way through the problem, set up, and carry out another experiment to test their ideas. In the end, they are able to come to an understanding about the relationship of two key metabolic pathways.
Vision & Change Core Concepts/Competencies
Environmental conditions (O2) influence metabolic pathways
Two undergraduate biology students are puzzling over the results from a microbiology experiment meant to determine if a bacterial strain is capable of fermentation or not. They reason their way through the problem, set up, and carry out another experiment to test their ideas. In the end, they are able to come to an understanding about the relationship of two key metabolic pathways.
Associated MINT: Genetic Inheritance
Mechanism of genetic inheritance
A college student video chats with his mother, who tells him that a cousin has passed away as the result of Marfan Syndrome. As the pair learn about Marfan Syndrome, they become concerned that the student may also be affected. The student explains genetic inheritance to his mother, and together they piece together a pedigree that they analyze with respect to the disease.
How Do You Find a Needle in a Haystack?
Associated MINT: Natural Selection
Evolution & Information Flow
Mutations exist prior to selection
Two students are working on an undergraduate research project in biology involving cloning a gene in bacteria. They are not getting the results they expect and must investigate their results more deeply. In the end, they learn how an antibiotic selects for resistant bacteria that are already present at low numbers in a population, which clarifies how natural selection works and why antibiotic resistant bacteria are a major health issue.
Associated MINT: Meiosis
DNA sequence determines homology and the mechanism of homologous pairing. Ploidy is defined as the number of complete sets of unique genetic information in a cell.
A college instructor is leading an interactive in-class demonstration to model the important aspects of the process of meiosis. Students volunteering for the demo and classroom members offer explanations to the various questions posed by the instructor. The user is asked to answer the questions posed to the student "audience" as well. At the end of the lesson the students in the class (as well as the IVV user) realize the importance of DNA sequence and genetic information to explain concepts of ploidy, homology and homologous pairing.
Associated MINT: PTC Taster
Information Flow, Structure/Function
Dominance describes the molecular relationship between products of two different alleles.
Two students studying genetics struggle to define dominance. They explore an example, PTC taster vs. nontaster phenotypes, and collect data in a science fair setting. The molecular reasons for the dominance relationship between alleles is discussed, and the common assumptions that dominant alleles are better, stronger, or more common are debunked.
Send in the Clones (Draft Form)
Associated MINT: Genetic Engineering
Information Flow, Exchange, and Storage
An introduction to genetic engineering and protein expression
While preparing for their lab, two students model the steps of a molecular cloning experiment. This introduces the viewer to restriction digestion, sticky and blunt ends, PCR, primer design, plasmids, multi cloning sites, and antibiotic selection. Viewer understanding is promoted via interactive questions embedded throughout the IVV.
Show Me the Data! (In Production)
Associated MINT: Data as Evidence
Systems; Ability to apply process of science; Ability to use quantitative reasoning; Ability to use modeling and simulation
Scientific conclusions are made based on available evidence, but new evidence can shift our understanding of a problem, and lead to new hypotheses.
Two students talk about science related course work, including examples of how new information allowed has the scientific community to adjust and advance understandings, and a specific lab assignment based on species richness and biomass measurements. Viewers are asked to make conclusions based on provided evidence, and then based on new evidence that alters the original conclusion. In the end, the cumulative effects of data collection are considered in the context of refining scientific knowledge.