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Abstract Detail

Education and Outreach

Fisher, Amanda [1].

Illustrated Keys as a Plant Systematics Teaching Tool.

Lessons in which students develop plant identification tools can contribute to student learning objectives in Plant Systematics courses. Many of these courses include a lab in which students write their own identification keys for a group of plants. I developed a Plant Systematics teaching module for students at California State University, Long Beach to create an illustrated key for California native plants. The module asks students to choose a genus or set of couplets in the Jepson eFlora identification key that contains at least five species. Students illustrate each lead in the couplet using herbarium specimen images from the Consortium of California Herbaria 2 specimen database. These are generally high-resolution images and can be magnified and cropped. Students are shown how to add scale bars to cropped images using the ruler on the specimen image. To satisfactorily complete the module students must understand the structure of dichotomous keys, research the key's terminology, and find examples of characteristics described in the leads. The product is a slide deck with each couplet illustrated on a slide and figure captions that explain the couplet and cite the specimens and key authors. Students are able to make fine-scale comparisons of species and practice technical writing. This teaching resource can be compressed to part of a laboratory session or expanded over several weeks. The resource may also be expanded to use the Flora of North America and other specimen image databases such as GBIF. A rubric is used to assess the slide deck. Students were surveyed on the effectiveness of the module in meeting the learning objectives. I developed this resource to replace a traditional plant collection project during the Spring 2020 and 2021 semesters of emergency online teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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1 - California State University, Long Beach, Biological Sciences, Mail Stop 9502, 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA, 90840, United States

Consortium of California Herbaria 2
plant identification
plant systematics
online learning.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: ED3, Education & Outreach III: Teaching tools, Laboratories and Research Experiences
Location: /
Date: Wednesday, July 21st, 2021
Time: 1:45 PM(EDT)
Number: ED3004
Abstract ID:1014
Candidate for Awards:None

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