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Abstract Detail

Teaching Section

Proctor, Niels [1], Antonenko, Pavlo [2], Monroe, Martha [3].

Web-Based Retrieval Practice as a Self-Directed Study Tool for Plant Identification Courses.

The past ten years has seen a burst of interest in the topic of retrieval practice. Psychology researchers at a number of schools have found that the mental activity of retrieving information is more effective than repeated study or concept mapping in helping human subjects retain information in long-term memory. Such a finding has practical implications for how educational methods might be improved to produce more lasting results. There has, however, already been resistance to the idea of using retrieval as a teaching technique. Skeptics have expressed doubts about whether the findings of psychological research will translate effectively into the classroom and about whether schools should devote even more time to classroom testing. To address both of those criticisms, this study looked at the use of web-based retrieval practice as an outside-of-class study technique in undergraduate classes.
Students in two plant identification courses at the University of Florida were given access to an interactive website where they could test their own recognition of the plants covered in the courses.  The website displayed a randomized set of plant images and asked users to type in the appropriate scientific names.  Users could zoom in to see each photo in more detail, and they could get either the common name or the initials of the scientific name as a hint.  Answers were checked for spelling and capitalization and users received immediate feedback.  Usage of the site was entirely voluntary and self-directed by the students and was only done outside of class.  By recording all interactions with the website and connecting those data to the recognition of individual plants on the weekly quizzes and lab finals, researchers were able to identify the patterns and levels of retrieval practice that correlated with improved quiz performance.

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1 - 284 Corry Village, Apt. 12, Gainesville, FL, 32603, USA
2 - University of Florida, School of Teaching and Learning, College of Education, PO Box 117048, Gainesville, FL, 32611-7048, USA
3 - University of Florida, School of Forest Resources & Conservation, PO Box 110410, Gainesville, FL, 32611-0410, USA

botany education
plant identification
retrieval practice.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Eyrie/Boise Centre
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PTE013
Abstract ID:817
Candidate for Awards:None


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