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Abstract Detail


The Future of Botany Teaching

Rost, Thomas [1].

Teaching Botany Visually.

Plant anatomy courses, by their very nature, can be tedious, requiring memorization of an overwhelming number of details. But when the subject is in the hands of thoughtful and enthusiastic teachers, the material can become fascinating, and the students can become engaged and inspired. To serve today’s student, I have designed and used Virtual Crops, (tomato, rice, cotton and grape), root animations, a plant anatomy image base, and other visual teaching strategies. Each Virtual Crop, for example, is intended to be a virtual monograph of the anatomy of one of these important crop plants, with hyperlinks to other related web sites. Across decades of teaching, I have found that the most important function of the instructor is to motivate students to learn, that is, to motivate them toward self-discovery. Visual approaches have the power to do this. I also want my students to know I care about them as individuals. One personal touch is during course's weekly six-hour laboratory, where I take photographs of students to learn their names. Moreover, I personally train students who have already taken my course to work as "peer proctors" in the laboratory, providing current students with additional help. Over the years. I have trained and worked with more than 100 peer proctors. Visual botany instruction can benefit from help by those course veterans with experienced eyes


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1 - University of California--Davis, College of Biological Sciences, 1 Shields Avenue, Davis, CA, 95616

Keywords:
image base
peer proctor
plant anatomy
root animation
Virtual Crop
visual teaching strategies.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: S5
Location: 157/Law
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2008
Time: 2:50 PM
Number: S5004
Abstract ID:979


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