Abstract Detail

Teaching Virtual Plant Systematics/Flora Courses

Liston, Aaron [1].

Building an airplane in flight: lessons learned teaching online plant systematics.

Oregon State University is among the 15% of U.S. universities on the quarter system. Spring term 2020 began April 1, and was taught entirely online to 60 students with three weeks advance notice. The Plant Systematics course that I have taught for 30 years relies heavily on freshly collected plants from the rich spring flora of western Oregon. The class includes four hours of “hands on” laboratory work per week, two field trips, and an iNaturalist project that has replaced a traditional collection assignment. To meet the learning objectives of the lab, each student was mailed a $25 dissection kit, including forceps, probe, 10X loupe, and 4x macro-lens for their phones. They were required to include floral dissections with their iNaturalist observations of 20 different plant species representing 15 different families. For plant identification, I created short videos featuring 4-8 species per two-hour lab. Narration and captions were used. The videos relied heavily on high quality online plant photo galleries, and were supplemented with herbarium specimen and iNaturalist images. I added close-ups and flower dissections made with a Moticam video camera attached to a binocular microscope. Camtasia video editing software greatly facilitated the process. The camera and software together cost under $400. After a brief introductory lecture on the day’s plant families, the students worked together in Zoom breakout rooms to draw the plants, complete worksheets describing their morphology, and use dichotomous keys to identify the species. The plant ID videos are posted on YouTube, and available for others to incorporate into online instruction. I also look forward to using them to supplement my in person teaching in the future.

Related Links:
Plant ID Videos by Aaron Liston
BOT321 Plant Systematics iNaturalist Project
iNaturalist assignment & instructor’s guide

1 - Oregon State University, Department Of Botany & Plant Pathology, 2082 Cordley Hall, Corvallis, OR, 97331, United States

remote teaching

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Session: COL09, Teaching Virtual Plant Systematics and Flora Courses
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2020
Time: 4:30 PM
Number: COL09005
Abstract ID:426
Candidate for Awards:None

Copyright © 2000-2020, Botanical Society of America. All rights reserved