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Abstract Detail

Systematics Section / ASPT

Kirchoff, Bruce K. [1], Baskauf, Steven J. [2].

Image Quiz: An interactive computer-based method for teaching plant identification.

IMAGE Quiz is a prototype of a program to teach plant identification. It is based on recent research in cognitive psychology. It teaches students to recognize taxa with the same visual processing mode used by visual experts: holistic processing. Holistic visual processing involves attending to the overall Gestalt or configuration of a stimulus. Holistic processors have difficulty selectively attending to a single portion of a stimulus and ignoring the others, even when specifically instructed to do so. Analytic processing involves selectively attending to distinct, separate features of a stimulus. Analytic processing is character based. Holistic processing is based on the relationships between parts. During the study phase, students are introduced to the plants on a taxon by taxon basis through pictures of their structure. The pictures represent holistic aspects of a plantís structure that are easily seen in the field. Multiple pictures are used for each aspect in order to capture the variation within taxa. Each picture is displayed, then identified by its scientific name. During the quiz phase the students see the pictures for a very short time (down to 0.1 seconds) and are asked to type in the taxon name (family, genus, or genus and species). Short exposure times force the student into the holistic mode. It is difficult to see specific characters when an image appears for less than 0.5 seconds. The quizzes are the heart of Image Quiz. They are where most of the learning occurs. They are not intended to be evaluative, but to provide practice and feedback to the student on his or her progress. Continued work with the images teaches them to recognize taxa holistically, and will increase his or her performance on evaluative instruments.

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1 - University of North Carolina Greensboro, Department of Biology, Po Box 26170, Greensboro, North Carolina, 27402-6170, USA
2 - Vanderbilt University, Department of Biological Sciences, VU Station B 351634, Nashville, Tennesee, 37235

plant identification
holistic processing

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 28-1
Location: 120/Ayres
Date: Monday, July 31st, 2006
Time: 3:30 PM
Abstract ID:126

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