herman CREST Instructional Material Development Resources - MSOE Center for BioMolecular Modeling

CREST Instructional Material Development Resources

Molecular Animations and Video Clips Annotated Gene Maps and Bioinformatics Narrated Jmol Tutorials Cellular Landscapes and Clickables Physical Models of Macromolecules Proteopedia Pages How Do We Know?

Molecular Animations and Video Clips

Schematic of Influenza Infection Process

Textbook images limit the ability to describe spatial and temporal interactions of macromolecules in the context of the cell. These limitations are typically overcome by depicting steps in a cartoon or in a single image that depicts all steps of the process simultaneously. Compare the static image of the influenza infection process at right with the animation (below). The static image is great for contemplating each of the steps in the process, whereas the animation 'connects the dots' and conveys the continuity of the process.

In developing an animation or video clip for CREST, consider ways to make the learning active and interactive. It may be appropriate to include pauses for class discussion. Or you might consider including a drawing that students can label after they watch the animation. Don't worry if you are not artistically inclined - you'll develop a storyboard (much like cartoon boxes) that will include the script and the action. CBM staff will assist in putting it all together!

Some of the examples demonstrate an effective way to combine text, images, videos and animations in a cohesive educational module. (See in particular the Influenza module).


You may need to download software to view one or more of these videos.


Influenza Module - This module combines images, text, videos and animations to create a cohesive overview of influenza. It was designed as a number of stand-alone learning tools (some are listed below), and then stitched together into a larger module.

The Influenza Infection Process - Animation describing the pH-induced conformational change in the influenza virus hemagglutinin protein leading to viral infection.

Role of Hemagglutinin in Viral Infection - Note the effective use of labels overlaid on the video to emphasize important terms and concepts. This vide incorporates portions of the influenza infection process animation (above).

Insulin - A combination of video and animation describes the role of insulin in storing sugar in cells, and the mechanism by which this process occurs.

Beta Adrenergic Receptor Proteopedia Page / Video - Proteopedia.org is a wiki site dedicated to protein structure. This SMART team proteopedia page incorporates a video clip, Jmol images and tutorials, photos and an abstract to describe the team's molecular story.


Careful planning and outside input early in development will reduce revisions to your final product. These guidelines will provide a useful framework. Contact Margaret Franzen (franzen@msoe.edu) as you begin developing your storyboard so that CBM staff can work with you on the project.

The CREST Project is funded by NSF-DUE 1022793 and NSF-DUE 1323414.

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