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Supporting Effective Teaching and Learning

Diggle, Pamela K. [1], Friedman, William E. [1], Mayer, Stephanie [1].

Digital Imaging in the Plant Biology Laboratory.

While current teaching philosophies emphasize active, enquiry-based learning, many laboratory sessions for anatomy and morphology courses are still passive and rote. Students look through a microscope and match what they see to a drawing or photograph in their laboratory manual. In an effort to enhance active learning in our plant biology courses we have introduced digital imaging into the weekly laboratory exercises. We will describe a relatively low cost digital imaging system and web interface in use in our teaching laboratory, and the ways in which it is used. In essence, the students create a computer-based study guide during each laboratory session. They acquire digital images of the specimens available in the lab. The student images are then posted on the course website and are accessible to all members of the course. The students are not supplied with an illustrated laboratory manual; rather they must actively synthesize the information from lecture and from the textbook in order to find and understand the material for each laboratory session. The photos acquired during these sessions become the laboratory notebook, and study guide for lab quizzes and practicals. Students have been quite engaged in this process; it enhances both their interactions with one another and with the instructors. In addition, the photography adds an additional sense of accomplishment. Not only does each student locate and identify particular structures, he/she has a record of that achievement. The very best images can be shown at the beginning of the following week’s lab in the form of a quiz, review, or for purely aesthetic reasons.

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1 - University of Colorado, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCB 334, Boulder, Colorado, 80309, USA

Digital Imaging

Presentation Type: Education Forum Session:Breakout Session
Session: F 5c-1
Location: 410/Hilton
Date: Saturday, August 13th, 2005
Time: 2:45 PM
Abstract ID:508

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