ERIC Number: EJ1074221
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 31
Bryophytes for Beginners: The Usability of a Printed Dichotomous Key versus a Multi-Access Computer-Based Key for Bryophyte Identification
Stagg, Bethan C.; Donkin, Maria E.; Smith, Alison M.
Journal of Biological Education, v49 n3 p274-287 2015
Bryophytes are a rewarding study group in field biology and the UK bryophyte flora has international importance to biodiversity conservation. We designed an identification key to common woodland moss species and compared the usability of two formats, web-based multi-access and printed dichotomous key, with undergraduate students. The rate of correct species identification and identification speed both showed an advantage for the printed dichotomous key. Our findings suggest that, even in the digital age, printed keys remain valuable in biological education and that quality of key design is more important than presentation medium. We discuss the relative advantages of multi-access and dichotomous keys and how to approach bryophyte identification with beginners.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Plants (Botany), Biology, Biodiversity, Conservation (Environment), Undergraduate Students, Web Based Instruction, Printed Materials, Teaching Methods, Technology Uses in Education, Design, Photography, Pictorial Stimuli, College Science, Statistical Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom