Presentation Title

Viewing A Local Flora Digitally

Abstract

In a world of increasing ‘plant blindness,’ many people, including university students, lack the background to recognize the native flora of a region. However, the availability of digital teaching and learning resources such as Moodle’s H5P activities increases the usefulness of online learning for even such experiential topics as field botany. Viewing local flora digitally is a project to create an online resource that will outline the recognition characters of the most species-rich families found in the Interior of BC, as well as many of the most common flowering plant species. The objective of this project was threefold: (1) to build a digital resource, available to both future TRU students and the greater community, (2) foster our own knowledge and appreciation of the Kamloops flora, and (3) develop the skills to build digital education resources. By working collaboratively, we were able to cover 21 of the most species-rich flowering plant families. For each flowering plant family included, this resource has outlined the recognition characters, unique features, and provided local examples of the family. Information was incorporated into interactive H5P activities and summative quizzes that serve to engage the student and reinforce the content. The activities and quizzes built in Moodle have the potential to be transferred to a more public domain, through platforms such as WordPress. The events of the last year have shown the importance of online teaching and learning resources. Not only has this project allowed us to develop the necessary vocabulary and skills to recognize our local flora but has allowed us to contribute to a resource that can be used by future students and the public. The development of accessible science helps not only the university but the community in which TRU resides.

Department

Biological Sciences

Faculty Advisor

Lyn Baldwin

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Viewing A Local Flora Digitally

In a world of increasing ‘plant blindness,’ many people, including university students, lack the background to recognize the native flora of a region. However, the availability of digital teaching and learning resources such as Moodle’s H5P activities increases the usefulness of online learning for even such experiential topics as field botany. Viewing local flora digitally is a project to create an online resource that will outline the recognition characters of the most species-rich families found in the Interior of BC, as well as many of the most common flowering plant species. The objective of this project was threefold: (1) to build a digital resource, available to both future TRU students and the greater community, (2) foster our own knowledge and appreciation of the Kamloops flora, and (3) develop the skills to build digital education resources. By working collaboratively, we were able to cover 21 of the most species-rich flowering plant families. For each flowering plant family included, this resource has outlined the recognition characters, unique features, and provided local examples of the family. Information was incorporated into interactive H5P activities and summative quizzes that serve to engage the student and reinforce the content. The activities and quizzes built in Moodle have the potential to be transferred to a more public domain, through platforms such as WordPress. The events of the last year have shown the importance of online teaching and learning resources. Not only has this project allowed us to develop the necessary vocabulary and skills to recognize our local flora but has allowed us to contribute to a resource that can be used by future students and the public. The development of accessible science helps not only the university but the community in which TRU resides.

 

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