|Simulations & Models
|Students can repeat the exercise until they get it correct
||If students make a mistake, the specimen is ruined. They can’t go back and try again.
|Students’ knowledge is tested at every step; students must show a grasp of the concepts before advancing.
||Difficult for the teacher to monitor every group of students; errors may not be caught until too late.
|Detailed information about organs, their functions and locations is available at the click of a mouse.
||Students may be too concerned with procedure to gain adequate knowledge about the organs.
|On-screen videos of actual dissections allow students a close-up look at the procedure.
||Demonstrations by the teacher may not be easily seen by all students.
|Programs can be edited to meet specific students needs without other students’ knowledge.
||All students need to complete the same dissection procedure, resulting in some students feeling frustrated.
|Once the software is installed there is no further set-up needed. Students who miss a lab due to illness can make it up at any time.
||Lab supplies and utensils must be set out before every lab, and cleaned and put away afterwards. Difficult for a student to make up a missed lab.
|Students can learn about biology without feeling they are responsible for an animal’s death or adding to the diminishment of a species.
||Students may act out during a dissection lab – often because they don’t know how to express their ethical concerns, or don’t feel comfortable enough to express their feelings appropriately.
|Costs are kept low since the software can be used year after year. Compared to the cost of prepared specimens, software pays for itself in one to three years.
||Preserved specimens must be purchased every year for each pair of students; prices can vary and usually increase each year.