I recently gave an assignment to my academic and honors biology classes. I asked them to create stop-motion movies of the cell cycle, including the mitotic process. Some students elected to add music and some even posted to YouTube. Mitosis is often taught as a series of drawings and students need to “imagine” what happens from step to step. In the case of the stop-motion video, the students must take “mini steps” to make the motion occur. What I have found is that there really must be continuity to the images – they can’t just jump and thus I know if students really understand the process and the RELATIONSHIPS. The critical thinking involved to make sure that the process makes sense allows students to truly construct their understanding.
When we watched the videos in class, I was most impressed with the following example. The students were a bit reluctant at first to share, because they thought it was “too short.” I dismissed this because of the evidence of understanding. They clearly got it and made my favorite product. And the Oscar goes to . . .