Science Tutorials software summarizes a large number of introductory college-level science concepts in four different programs:
By scrolling through a main menu
and a variety of sub-menus, a user can focus on the topics he needs to study
within each of these disciplines. Working through the MCH Tutorials is
similar to having one’s textbook read aloud. The software does not present
material in a way that provides unusual insights or experiences.
Science Tutorials drills concepts and formulas in physics and chemistry. Each
section ends with a quiz for a user to evaluate her knowledge and progress.
The program includes a blank notebook in which a student can record important
ideas and formulas in her own words.
If a user finds auditory learning preferable to reading, she might find this
software useful because it supplements written material with information
read aloud. Besides its auditory component, the software does not seem to
provide much more value than a textbook used in combination with simulations
and illustrations that are available on the Internet.
A student would most likely use the MCH programs to prepare for an SAT-II
exam or to review topics for tests in a course. Science Tutorials does not
engage a student in science nor does it present material in an especially clear, rich
fashion. The software presents information without challenging a user to
think critically, develop hypotheses, and independently explore the
complexity and implications of scientific topics. With the exception of some
animation, most of the material in Science Tutorials is theoretical and dry.
Parents may want their children to study using this software because it
summarizes large amounts of information and includes self-paced
opportunities for assessment. Teachers may benefit from using pieces of this
software to supplement material in their courses.
Ease of Use / Install
The product is simple to install -- a user needs to follow on-screen
instructions and click on a few buttons. The program includes a tutorial
that explains the icons and menus in the program. Science Tutorials are intuitive
to use; topics are clearly organized. A user can find topics of her choice
by typing key words into the search engine.
Best for... / Bottom-Line
Kids studying for science tests may benefit from this program because they
can review and memorize a vast array of facts. However, the MCH Tutorials
will not help children become intelligent thinkers – the program does not
encourage students to generate and test their own ideas. Instead, the
software presents information in a dry, didactic fashion. With the exception
of its auditory component, MCH Tutorials does not offer significantly more
value than a textbook combined with some animations.