AIBS/Botanical Society of America


"Biodiversity: Global Issues"

August 3-7, 1997
Palais des Congrès de Montréal
Montréal, Canada

Monday, August 4

WIRED Biology: Using Computers and the Internet to Enhance Teaching and Learning

A symposium organized by DAVID W. KRAMER, Department of Plant Biology, The Ohio State University, Mansfield, OH 44906 for the Teaching Section of the Botanical Society of America and for the American Institute of Biological Sciences

Sponsored by Benjamin/ Cummings Publishing Co., a division of Addison Wesley Longman.

MONDAY MORNING, 4 AUGUST

Part I. WIRED Biology: Using Computers and the Internet to Enhance Teaching and Learning

Biology educators are developing and using new teaching and learning technologies at a rapid pace as we move toward the next millennium. There is much to be learned from the successes and failures of the pioneers of this technological revolution. This symposium is a showcase for a variety of innovative uses of technology. Here you will see some new laboratory simulations and learn what the authors discovered in the course of their development and testing. Others will be showing us how software developed primarily for research can be adapted for use by students in college classrooms and laboratories. Many professors are developing supplementary materials and even entire courses for delivery on the World Wide Web. We will learn how some of the best of those efforts have incorporated the many exciting opportunities of the Internet while coping with its limitations. The formal presentations in morning and afternoon sessions will be followed by a hands-on "electronic poster session" in the evening where you will have an opportunity to meet the presenters and delve into the details of their projects while trying the technology for yourself. The symposium is co-sponsored by AIBS and the Teaching Section of the Botanical Society of America. We acknowledge the generous corporate sponsorship of Benjamin Cummings Publishers.

8:00 KRAMER, DAVID W. The Ohio State University, Mansfield. Introduction.

8:10 BEATTIE, RUTH E. University of Kentucky, Lexington. Technology in the classroom: Suggestions for assuring success. [ABSTRACT]

8:45 KRAMER, DAVID W. The Ohio State University, Mansfield. Design for a plant biology multimedia learning center. [ABSTRACT]

9:20 RECESS

9:30 SNOW, MICHAEL* AND CHARLES UMBANHOWAR. University of Portland,OR and St.Olaf College, Northfield, MN Investigative laboratory exercises in plant anatomy and morphology using video imaging technology. [ABSTRACT]

10:05 HINTZE, KIRSTEN, MILTON SOMMERFELD, JEAN STUTZ, AND ROBERT ROBERSON, Arizona State University, Tempe. Multimedia design: Suggestions from development of a learning module in phycology. [ABSTRACT]

10:40 RECESS

10:50 SODERBERG, PATTI AND ETHEL STANLEY*. BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium, Beloit College, Beloit, WI. Collaborative investigation with strategic simulations. [ABSTRACT]

11:25 DICKINSON, TIMOTHY A.*1, SIAN MEIKLE2, AND ANDREW PAVACIC2. 1Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto and 2University of Toronto. Vascular plant families, the World Wide Web, and PollyClave: Tools for interactive learning. [ABSTRACT]

12:00 LUNCH RECESS (symposium resumes at 1:15 pm)

MIDDAY AFTERNOON, 4 August

Part II. WIRED Biology: Using Computers and the Internet to Enhance Teaching and Learning

1:15 KRAMER, DAVID W. The Ohio State University, Mansfield. Introduction.

1:25 SEEBURG, DIERK. Arizona State University, Tempe. Integration of technology tools in a biology laboratory environment. [ABSTRACT]

2:00 STARRETT, DAVID* AND ALLEN GATHMAN, Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau. Interactive Web pages as supplementary class materials. [ABSTRACT]

2:35 RECESS

2:45 INGEBRITSEN, THOMAS*, GEORGE BROWN, JOHN PLEASANTS, AND ROBERT ANDREWS, Iowa State University, Ames. Teaching biology on the Internet. [ABSTRACT]

3:20 ESVELT, KATHY L., ROGER G. FUENTES-GRANADOS, MARK P. WIDRLECHNER, AND PETER K. BRETTING.* USDA and Iowa State University, Ames. Adapting the content of a traditional course for delivery via the World Wide Web (WWW). [ABSTRACT]

3:55 RECESS

4:05 RUSSELL, SCOTT D. University of Oklahoma, Norman. Construction and maintenance of Internet sites: Rewards and drawbacks. [ABSTRACT]


4:40 ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION

5:00 ADJOURN

MONDAY EVENING, 4 AUGUST

PART III. WIRED Biology: Using Computers and the Internet to Enhance Teaching and Learning

8:00 pm ELECTRONIC POSTER SESSION: To be held in computer labs. Presenters will be on location from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm. They will be available for hands-on demonstrations of hardware and software actually used in their lecture halls and laboratories. They will answer questions about the availability of the technology as well as the advantages and disadvantages of computer applications as compared with more traditional approaches. Most of them are also presenters in Parts I and II of this symposium earlier on Monday.

BEATTIE, RUTH E. University of Kentucky, Lexington. Technology in the classroom: Suggestions for assuring success.

DICKINSON, TIMOTHY A.*1, SIAN MEIKLE2, AND ANDREW PAVACIC2. 1Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto and 2University of Toronto. Vascular plant families, the World Wide Web, and PollyClave: Tools for interactive learning.

ESTILL, JAMES C.* AND KENNETH D. McFARLAND. University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Use of the Internet as an information resource and study guide in an introductory botany course. [ABSTRACT]

ESVELT, KATHY L., ROGER G. FUENTES-GRANADOS, MARK P. WIDRLECHNER, AND PETER K. BRETTING.* USDA and Iowa State University, Ames. Adapting the content of a traditional course for delivery via the World Wide Web (WWW).

HINTZE, KIRSTEN*, MILTON SOMMERFELD, JEAN STUTZ, AND ROBERT ROBERSON, Arizona State University, Tempe. Multimedia design: Suggestions from development of a learning module in phycology.

INGEBRITSEN, THOMAS*, GEORGE BROWN, JOHN PLEASANTS, AND ROBERT ANDREWS, Iowa State University, Ames. Teaching biology on the Internet.

KRAMER, DAVID W. The Ohio State University, Mansfield. Design for a plant biology multimedia learning center.

RUSSELL, SCOTT D. University of Oklahoma, Norman. Construction and maintenance of Internet sites: Rewards and drawbacks.

SEEBURG, DIERK. Arizona State University, Tempe. Integration of technology tools in a biology laboratory environment.

SNOW, MICHAEL* AND CHARLES UMBANHOWAR. University of Portland,OR and St.Olaf College, Northfield, MN Investigative laboratory exercises in plant anatomy and morphologyusing video imaging technology.

SODERBERG, PATTI AND ETHEL STANLEY*. BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium, Beloit College, Beloit, WI. Collaborative investigation with strategic simulations.

STARRETT, DAVID* AND ALLEN GATHMAN, Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau. Interactive Web pages as supplementary class materials.

ABSTRACTS

BEATTIE, RUTH E. T. H. Morgan School of Biological Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506. - Technology in the classroom: Suggestions for assuring success.

During the past eighteen months, multimedia technology has been introduced into several of our lecture-only introductory biology courses. The goals of this presentation are (a) to discuss the role of technology in the course curriculum, (b) to identify the equipment needed, (c) to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different types of media (CDs, videos, videodiscs) or "What to look for when purchasing media?", and (d) to present the results of student and faculty evaluations of the value of technology in enhancing student understanding of the course material.
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ESVELT, KATHY L., ROGER G. FUENTES-GRANADOS, MARK P. WIDRLECHNER, AND PETER K. BRETTING.* Department of Agronomy and USDA/ARS North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station, Iowa State University, Ames IA 50011.- Adapting the content of a traditional course for delivery via the World Wide Web (WWW).

Agronomy 523, Plant Genetic Resource Management, a three credit, graduate-level course taught at Iowa State University is one of the few semester-long courses of its kind. Its comprehensive scope, team of instructors, and access to unique, highly specialized facilities have attracted the interest of many students at other U. S. and international sites who cannot easily attend the course in Ames. Consequently, in 1996 we began to transform the content of this course into a format that could be delivered at a distance via the WWW. An extensive series of lecture notes written in WordPerfect for IBM-compatible PCs was moved onto a dedicated server, and translated into html format via Netscape Navigator Gold. Additional illustrations, graphics, simulation software, and links to sites with related content were added. We found that content organized according to a detailed outline was readily adaptable to transmission via the WWW, and that it was imperative to establish early in the project an attractive and highly legible html format. We found that the team-teaching approach implemented for this course in 1992 greatly expedited development of course content for the WWW.
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DICKINSON, TIMOTHY A.*1, SIAN MEIKLE2, AND ANDREW PAVACIC3. 1Center for Biodiversity & Conservation Biology, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, CANADA M5S 2C6 (timd@rom.on.ca), 2Information Technology Services, University of Toronto, Toronto, CANADA M5S 1A1(sian@library.utoronto.ca), 3Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada M5S 1A1 (pavacic@ecf.toronto. edu). - Vascular plant families, the World Wide Web, and PollyClave: Tools for interactive learning.

PollyClave (URL http://dev.library.utor onto.ca/www/polyclave/) is a polyclave that runs on a World Wide Web server so that it can be accessed by users around the world in order to carry out identifications using associated databases. Like other polyclave implementations such as INTKEY (M. J. Dallwitz, T. A. Paine and E. J. Zurcher, CSIRO Canberra) and PANKEY (R. J. Pankhurst, RBG Edinburgh), PollyClave takes advantage of theDELTA (DEscriptive Language for TAxonomy; Dallwitz et al. 1993) format for the databases that it uses. PollyClave is written in ANSI C; together with the PollyClave Administrator's Manual, it is available free for non-profit educational use. Currently, identification databases are beingdeveloped for use with PollyClave in teaching a "Families of Vascular Plants" course at the University of Toronto. PollyClave development was supported by the Provost's Information Technology Courseware Development Fund of the University of Toronto, and by resources of the Vascular Plant Herbarium of the Royal Ontario Museum (TRT).
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ESTILL, JAMES C.* AND KENNETH D. McFARLAND. Department of Botany, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-1100. - Use of the Internet as an information resource and study guide in an introductory botany course.

An Internet-based resource has been designed to complement a two-semester introductory botany course at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Theweb page functions as an auxiliary resource for students. It contains digitized photographs and micrographs of materials students studied duringthe lab, textbook chapter outlines, practice quizzes, old exams, and challenging questions. A compilation of other web resources is also included and a forms-based suggestion box allows students to anonymously ask questions and make course suggestions. Web page design has sought to maximize performance on the multiple browsers used by students and to make efficient use of images so as to allow quick download times. Student feedback has been positive and the majority of students who have used this resource have found it helpful to their studies.
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HINTZE, KIRSTEN*, MILTON SOMMERFELD, JEAN STUTZ, AND ROBERT ROBERSON, Department of Botany, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-1601. - Multimedia design: Suggestions from development of a learning module in phycology.

Recent advancements in technology and decreases in cost have brought the power to produce multimedia instructional systems to individual higher education departments and even individual instructors. However, once the hardware and software has been secured, there are many other factors to be considered in the development of an interactive, multimedia educational program. Such factors include instructional procedures, navigation and learner control, genuine interactivity and selecting appropriate media. Strategies to address these factors were developed by the Department of Botany at Arizona State University which has initiated the creation of a series of interactive multimedia programs for use in introductory botany courses. The prototype for this series focuses on the algal class Bacillariophyceae, commonly known as diatoms. The tutorial is designed to provide students self-paced instruction and exploration of diatom cell biology, frustule structure, ecology, taxonomy, and economic and practical applications. The prototype module is composed of 174 separate screens in ten sections including a glossary and an index. On those screens, there are18 animations, 148 pop-up demonstrations, 10 diagrams, 16 drawings, 128 photographic images, four videos, and 11 quizzes. There are also 70 narrations. Knowledge gained in the production of this prototype will be applied to the development of a multimedia series to introduce the study of algae and fungi.
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INGEBRITSEN, THOMAS*1, GEORGE BROWN1, JOHN PLEASANTS1, AND ROBERT ANDREWS2, Departments of 1Zoology and Genetics, and 2Microbiology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-3223. - Teaching biology on the Internet.

Iowa State University began offering on-line biology courses in Fall Semester 1996. Four courses were offered in the 1996/1997 academic year and eight courses will be offered in the 1997/1998 academic year. A unique feature of these courses is the on-line lectures which are multimedia presentations similar to lectures in a traditional on-site classroom. They consist of slides with an audio explanation of the information on the slides. Slides and audio are accessed sequentially or randomly (using a menu that accompanies each lecture). The audio part of the lectures is delivered using a new audio streaming technology called RealAudio®. All course materials except for textbooks are available on-line via the World Wide Web (WWW) 24 hrs/day, 7 days/week. To access the courses, students need a WWW browser and the RealAudio Player. The software is available at no charge and can be downloaded from the WWW. The software is available for Macintosh, PC or Unix platforms. The on-line courses include: a two semester "freshman" biology course for life science majors, 3 lower division biology courses for non-majors, an upper division microbiology course, a graduate level microbiology course and a biotechnology course that can be taken for undergraduate or graduate credit. The on-line courses are part of a new program called Project BIO. This is a partnership of biology educators at Iowa State University, Iowa community colleges, and Iowa high schools with the purpose of developing and sharing biology education resources via the internet. One aspect of this partnership is establishing public access terminals at community colleges and high schools that students and faculty can use to access the course materials. The presentation will cover technologies used in the on-line biology courses, instructional design, assessment of student performance in the courses and student reactions and comments about the on-line courses. Sample lectures and additional information about the courses can be accessed from the Project BIO WWW site (http://project.bio.iastate.edu/).
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KRAMER, DAVID W. Department of Plant Biology, Ohio State University at Mansfield, Mansfield, OH 44906-1547 (kramer.8@osu.edu) - Design for a plant biology multimedia learning center.

Those who use the new technologies to teach biology soon learn that the physical attributes of the classroom are nearly as important as the choice of hardware and software. If instructors are forced to set up and tear down equipment before and after their lectures, they will tend not to use the technology. Ohio State University at Mansfield installed a Plant Biology Multimedia Learning Center which is a combined classroom, laboratory, and student study center. Resources available to teachers and students throughout the room include auto-tutorial videodisc station, computers for experimental data entry, Mideo cart with microscope and video camera, laminar flow hood, chemical hood, lighted growing rack for Fast Plant experiments, dissecting microscopes, and compound light microscopes. The custom-built lecture desk provides security for a Macintosh 7100 PowerPC with CD-ROM and Internet connection, RGB amplifier, videodisc player, videotape recorder, and video switch. Lectures are delivered with presentation software (Adobe Persuasion®) and supplemented with videodisc images, videotapes, and WWW resources. Images are displayed on NEC multisynchronous monitors and (soon) via a projector. The room is dedicated to plant biology and accessible to students when there are no scheduled classes in the room. Other learning resources in the room include a reference library (reference books, textbooks, botanical research journals) and a teaching herbarium. This presentation will describe the facility and offer suggestions for planning similar facilities.
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RUSSELL,SCOTT D. Department of Botany and Microbiology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK73019-0245. - Construction and maintenance of Internet sites: Rewards and drawbacks.

One of the most important steps to achieving a useful educational Internet site is to develop a clear concept of the role of the site. The effort involved in bringing the concept to fruition, however, should not be underestimated. Among the factors to be considered include: 1) whether the technology to produce the site is readily available; 2) if an innovative site is planned, will users take the time to find, purchase/download, install, and configure new hardware and/or software for the novelty of the site; 3) whether support to write, configure and develop the site will be made available; 4) whether the site will require constant change to meet its concept; 5) whose equipment will be used; 6) whether borrowed space will still be available if the site is overly successful or unsuccessful; 7) whether the server will be adequately maintained; 8) how the site will be financially supported; and 9) whether support will be available if the concept requires more than one person can accomplish. Estimates of the time required to erect and maintain a site are rarely accurate: editing and trouble-shooting are time-consuming, beta-testers are needed, and cross-platform incompatibility may compromise the impact of the site. Once established, revisions may be needed, and undoubtedly if the site is visited by enough people, flaws will be noted. Sites that are attractive today may seem dated and less than fully functional as the next generation of servers, browsers, modems, networks and computers become available. The best advice is to be true to your concept, be prepared to invest time in the site, be aware of developments that will change the Internet, and not to be scared by its evolution or that of your site.
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SEEBURG, DIERK. Department of Botany, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-1601. - Integration of computer technology in a biology laboratory environment.

This presentation describes the integration of the Internet and computer applicatons and simulations in the biology laboratory environment. Using several examples of laboratory setups, the integration process is shown to be beneficial to the learning experience of students in life science classes. In particular, techniques such as on-line testing, use of e-mail as a feedback mechanism, molecular modeling in the classroom, and others are explored and evaluated as to their efficacy for both teacher and student. The technologies used in life science laboratory classes are projected to be of considerable value in other science and liberal arts class settings given appropriate setup time and organized planning. Finally, the overall effectiveness is assessed subjectively from a personal point of view. Information from this study will be useful to those who are planning to launch similar projects.
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SNOW, MICHAEL* AND CHARLES UMBANHOWAR. Department of Biology, University of Portland, Portland, OR 97203 and Department of Biology, St.Olaf College, Northfield, MN 55057 - Investigative laboratory exercises in plant anatomy and morphology using video imaging technology.

The teaching of plant anatomy and morphology in undergraduate intermediate botany laboratories is often a challenge. Students frequently have difficulty maintaining interest in routine surveys of plant organs based on prepared slide material. The authors describe their attempts to overcome some of these difficulties using investigative laboratory exercises employing video imaging hardware and software. Starting with either free-hand sections or prepared slide materials, groups of students quantitatively compared the anatomy and morphology of plants adapted to different habitats. Dissecting and compound microscopes with video cameras were used and images were captured with video frame grabbers linked to Macintosh PowerPC computers. Using NIH Image software, measurements were made on features such as cuticular thickness, stomatal density, leaf area, and vascular bundle area using habitat variables such as xerophytic vs. hydrophytic, or sun vs. shade leaves. Students prepared formal laboratory reports summarizing the results of their work, and discussed the relationship between morphology, anatomy and environment. Reports were either presented to the class using PowerPoint or posted on a web site. Authors discuss the student responses to this approach and give examples of some of their students' work.
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SODERBERG, PATTI AND ETHEL STANLEY*. BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium, Biology Department, Beloit College, Beloit, WI 53511. - Collaborative investigation with strategic simulations.

Students enter the classroom with varying degrees of experience, knowledge, preconceptions, ignorance, and interests in the biological sciences- as do instructors! We will demonstrate selected MAC and PC strategic simulations that were developed by faculty to support opportunities for their students to investigate and confront their understandings of biology collaboratively. Well-designed modeling and simulation experiences encourage students to engage in practical problem posing; to experience open-ended problem solving with its attendant competing hypotheses and inferences from a series of experimental observations; and to recognize the need to persuade others of the utility of their "answers."
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STARRETT, DAVID* AND ALLEN GATHMAN, Biology Department, Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701. - Interactive Web pages as supplementary class materials.

We have developed web pages to be used as supplementary materials for many of the classes taught in the Biology Department. Web pages contain class syllabi, instructor office hours, etc. In one of our classes, a study guide is used. The complete study guide has been put on-line as a series of linked pages. Links to other pertinent sites are included as well. These may include links to search engines, similar courses at other institutions, on-line journals, and other relevant sites. Bulletin boards have been created for some of the classes. These allow faculty to post announcements, assignments, and events, while students can post questions, comments, etc. Faculty and other students may then respond. The bulletin board has the advantage of allowing students some anonymity; questions and comments that might not normally come up in the classroom environment can be posted. Interactive quizzes and old exams used for studying are placed on-line for some of the classes. Quizzes can be taken on-line, submitted, and a score returned by the computer. Exams allow the students to read a question, formulate an answer, and then compare their answer with the instructor's answer. Questions are viewed and then a button pushed to receive an on-line written answer. Finally, information on laboratory research is on web pages allowing students to get an idea of what goes on in the labs and hopefully encouraging some to seek out a student project or work in a research lab.
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