Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Fascinating Education Biology - TOS Review

I loved reviewing the Chemistry programme from Fascinating Education last year, so was very pleased when the chance to review Fascinating Biology came up.

Fascinating Education is an on-line curriculum that uses audio-visual techniques to teach science in an engaging way. Created by Dr Margulies (a neurologist) as a way to introduce and teach science to those with no previous knowledge - he presents the information slowly, in plain english and following a structured story line. He has created three courses, aimed at middle to high school ages, Biology, Chemistry and Physics, each is a complete on-line science program with lessons, scripts and tests.

Fascinating Biology is an 18 chapter biology course, the chapters include:

  • What is Life
  • Chemistry Review
  • Cell Membrane
  • Take in Nutrients
  • Take in Energy
  • Metallic Bond
  • Growth
  • Reproduce
  • Homeostasis
  • Adaptation
  • Protists, Animals and Fungi
  • Animals
Because chemistry is so important to understanding biology, Dr. Margulies has created a 6 lesson chemistry pre-course that is useful for students who haven’t studied chemistry yet.

Each lesson contains a series of images/slides displayed whilst Dr Margulies explains the concept in a clear, easy to understand manner. Each lesson includes a script as well as a glossary of terms and a test.

The lesson is divided into subtopics, which are displayed to the left side of the screen on a menu bar. This allows you to stop the lessons at any time, recap information you may not have understood the first time around and pause a lesson to come back where you left off at a later time.

The Script comes as a PDF of the lesson, we printed them out and they were really helpful for annotating and making notes on.

The glossary defines some of the terms. This was very useful for the girls as it helped them with some of the harder words. 

The review test at the end is a multiple choice test, there is the option to review the answers if you get too many wrong and then retake the test. There is also the option to print out the tests.

Both Lilly (13) and Sunflower (11) used this programme and I watched it alongside them. They found the lessons engaging and fairly easy to follow and once again I was pleased by breath of knowledge covered.

I was very impressed by this programme, I think its great that he designs the course so you can complete it with no previous science knowledge and I think it perfect for anyone who wants to learn science in an easy way. I think it would have been nice to see more hands on lab type work with the course (the Chemistry labs were great) and I think a nice touch would have been a link to the relevant video clip to correct a wrong answer rather than just showing what the right answer is.

Fascinating Biology is available for $79 for a year’s access (Chemistry and Physics are the same price) and the Chemistry pre-course is $20. You can combine any two courses for $125 a year, or have all three for $175 for two years. You can also see the course outlines and get a free sample lesson for each course.

You can see what my crewmates thought of this, Fascinating Chemistry or Fascinating Physics over at the TOS Blog

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