Understanding Alcohol
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National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Understanding Alcohol

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Teacher's Guide hand using a mouse

Teacher's Guide

Using the Web Site

The Understanding Alcohol: Investigations into Biology and Behavior Web site is a tool, like an overhead projector or a textbook, that can help you organize the use of the module, engage student interest in learning, and orchestrate and individualize instruction. The Web site features videos, animations, and simulations that enhance two of the module’s lessons.

Hardware/Software Requirements

The Web site can be accessed from Apple Macintosh and IBM-compatible personal computers. Links to download the Macromedia Flash and QuickTime Player plug-ins are provided on the Web site main page. The minimum hardware and software requirements to use the Web site are listed in the table below.

To access the Web site, type the following URL into your browser: http://science.education.nih.gov/supplements/alcohol/teacher.

Minimum Hardware/Software Requirements for Using the Web Site
CPU/Processor (PC Intel, Mac) Pentium 333 MHz, Power PC or faster
Operating system (DOS/Windows, Mac OS) Windows 95/98/2000 or Mac OS 7
System memory (RAM) 64 MB or more
Screen display 800 x 600, 16 bit (65K colors)
Browser Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 or Netscape Communicator 4.75 and higher
Browser settings JavaScript enabled
Free hard drive space 10 MB
Connection speed 56 kbps
Plug-ins Macromedia Flash Player (version 6 and higher) and QuickTime Player (version 5 and higher)
Audio Sound card with speakers

Getting the Most out of the Web Site

Before you use this Web site, or any other piece of instructional software in your classroom, it may be valuable to identify some of the benefits you expect it to provide. Well-designed instructional multimedia software can

The ideal use of the Web site requires one computer for each student team. However, if you have only one computer available, you can still use the Web site (for example, by using a suitable device for projecting the screen image, or by rotating student teams through the computer station). If you do not have the facilities for using the Web site with your students, you can use the print-based alternatives provided for those lessons.

Collaborative Groups

Many of the activities in the lessons are designed to be completed by teams of students working together. Although individual students working alone can complete these activities, this strategy will not stimulate the types of student-student interactions that are one of the goals of active, collaborative, inquiry-based learning. Therefore, we recommend that you organize collaborative teams of two to four students each, depending on the number of computers available. Students in groups larger than this will have difficulty organizing the student-computer interactions equitably, which can lead to one or two students’ assuming the primary responsibility for the computer-based work. Although this type of arrangement can be efficient, it means that some students do not get the opportunity to experience the in-depth discovery and analysis that the Web site was designed to stimulate.

We recommend that you keep your students in the same collaborative teams for all the activities in the lessons. This will allow each team to develop a shared experience with the Web site and with the ideas and issues that the activities present. A shared experience will also enhance your students’ perceptions of the lessons as a conceptual whole.

If your student-to-computer ratio is greater than four students to one computer, then you will need to change the way you teach the module from the instructions in the lessons. For example, if you have only one computer available, you may want students to complete the Web-based work across an extended time period. You can do this in several ways. The most practical way is to use your computer as a center along with several other centers at which students complete other activities. In this approach, students rotate through the computer center, eventually completing the Web-based work that you have assigned.

A second way to structure the lessons if you only have one computer available is to use a projection system to display the computer monitor onto a screen for the whole class to view. Giving selected students in the class the opportunity to manipulate the Web activities in response to suggestions from the class can give students some of the same type of autonomy in their learning that they would gain from working in small teams.

Web Activities for Students with Disabilities

The Office of Science Education (OSE) is committed to providing access to the Curriculum Supplement Series for individuals with disabilities, including members of the public and federal employees. To meet this commitment, we will comply with the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Section 508 requires that individuals with disabilities who are members of the public seeking these materials will have access to and use of information and data that are comparable to those provided to members of the public who are not individuals with disabilities. The online versions of this series have been prepared to comply with Section 508.

If you use assistive technology (such as a Braille reader or a screen reader) and the format of any material on our Web sites interferes with your ability to access the information, please use the following points of contact for assistance. To enable us to respond in a manner most helpful to you, please indicate the nature of your accessibility problem, the format in which you would prefer to receive the material, the Web address of the requested material, and your contact information.

Contact us at

Curriculum Supplement Series
Office of Science Education
National Institutes of Health
6100 Executive Blvd., Suite 3E01 MSC 7520
Bethesda, MD 20892-7520

Understanding Alcohol: Investigations into Biology and Behavior 508-Compliant Web Activities
For students with hearing impairment For students with sight impairment
Lesson 1,
Activity 1: What’s Up With This Mouse?
No special considerations are required. With a screen reader, students are presented with two buttons, “mouse 1” and “mouse 2.” Each button will play a video with descriptive narration.
Lesson 3,
Activity 1: Gathering Data, Study 1—Effect of Alcohol Dose on Mouse Activity; Study 2—Effect of Time on Alcohol Response; Study 3—Effect of Genetics on Alcohol Response

Students may click on the closed-captioning icon to view the captioning for the activity’s introduction.

closed-captioning icon

The closed-captioning icon is located in the top left corner of the animation. The text appears at the bottom of the animation.

The individual studies do not have captioning.

Using a screen reader, students are able to navigate to each study. Within each study, a sound effect is heard each time a mouse crosses a grid line. Students must count the number of sound effects to arrive at the number of grid lines crossed by the mouse.

Supervision is recommended.

Lesson 5,
Activity 2: Alcohol and Driving Behavior
No special considerations are required. With a screen reader, students are presented with two buttons, “Simulation A” and “Simulation B.” Each button will play a video with descriptive narration. The narration describes the major activities that occur during each simulation. After hearing each description, students will be able to easily determine which driver is under the influence of alcohol. Be sure to have students relate each of the intoxicated driver’s actions to the specific effects of alcohol on the body.

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