Origins and Evolution of Life

Origins and Evolution of Life

Design team:

Annette Koenders, Edith Cowan University


Annette Koenders


In Origins and Evolution of Life an introductory biology course for online delivery students investigate a simulation of the discovery of new life forms, and are introduced to the interpretation of microscopic images of cellular structures. In the scenario, students are given a role as biologist-one member of an expedition to a remote lake in Siberia where several microorganisms are found that cannot be classified. They 'collect' the specimens and return to the university to analyse them. On the website, they are provided with images of unicellular organisms apparently unknown to science. Students are assigned to groups of four where they analyse the specimens and prepare a report.

Web links:

This website is not publicly available.

Read more:

Koenders, A. (2002). Creating opportunities from challenges in on-line introductory biology. In A. Goody, J. Herrington , & M. Northcote (Eds.), Quality conversations: Research and Development in Higher Education, Volume 25 (pp. 393-400). Jamison, ACT: HERDSA. Available: