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Abstract Detail


Teaching Section

Kirchoff, Bruce K. [1].

Teaching plant identification through effective homework.

Woody Plants of the Southeastern United States: A Field Botany Course on CD is designed to efficiently teach plant identification. It does this by helping users become visual experts in species recognition. Unlike novices, experts are able to quickly recognize patterns. This allows chess masters to recognize chess configurations, and botanists to identify species from a glimpse out the window of a moving vehicle. The program helps students rapidly achieve this mastery by adapting techniques the from cognitive psychology literature to the task of species recognition. It is designed to promote holistic processing, the visual processing mode used by experts. It is the only program that allows the student to learn in the same visual mode used by experts. Most programs require students to learn characters analytically. This analytical training must be overcome as the student becomes an expert at identifying plants in the field. A updated version of the program allows instructors to create customized scripts that define study sessions for students. The program also now tracks student progress by way of output files that record studentsí grades on the quiz and test routines. These output files can be emailed to the instructor, or uploaded onto a course contend delivery system such as Blackboard as a way of assessing studentsí work. The new scripting functions allows the creation of effective homework assignments. Students come to class already familiar with the the plants, and ready to learn their technical characteristics.


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Woody Plants of the Southeastern US: A Field Botany Course on CD


1 - University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Biology, PO Box 26170, Greensboro, NC, 27402-6170, USA

Keywords:
teaching
education
plant identification
software
woody plants
visual perception of plants
botany teaching
visual analysis
pedagogy
plant blindness
systematics
Woody Plants of the Southeastern United States.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for BSA Sections
Session: 36
Location: Superior A/Cliff Lodge - Level C
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Time: 11:15 AM
Number: 36012
Abstract ID:364


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