This is an easy-to-read and easy-to-use Website with excellent depictions of plant motion. Time-lapse movies of different plant movements, along with fun learning projects and instructions on how to make similar movies are included at this Website. Germination, photomorphogenesis, tropisms, circadian responses, and general growth are demonstrated through use of quicktime video clips to show these movements. There is also information on creating flip books and doing time lapse photography, as well as links to plants in movies (Hollywood) and plants in art.
Users will learn about plant movements through time-lapse photography to visualize plant growth that is normally too slow to be noticed by the human eye. Teachers will benefit from instructions provided on how to do similar time-lapse and flip book projects to study movement.
Target Student Population:
Users will acquire different levels of appeciation and/or knowledge depending on the audience. General users and "budding" plant biologists may be motivated to learn more about plants whereas college students may use video clips for detailed understanding of plant movements.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Some basic knowledge of plant growth terminology and processes (e.g., phototropism, gravitropism, etc.) may be needed if time-lapse clips are studied in detail. Students viewing the movies with no background material will see plant growth in a novel way. No prerequisite knowledge is needed for the motivational aspects of this Website.
Type of Material:
Animation / Simulation. More specifically, frames-based navigation, basic text descriptions, and movies in QuickTime format.
Video clips can be used in lecture or independently to view short demonstrations of plant movement. Plant Dance, Flipbooks, Plant Art and other materials can be used for entertainment. Website is intended to serve as a resource for nonprofit educational use.
Movies require the Apple QuickTime browser plug-in to be visualized; link to plug-in is provided. Some of the movies are over 1 MB in size. Fast Internet connections will greatly help in download speed. Works well in current versions of Internet Explorer and Netscape.
Evaluation and Observation
Quality of Content:4.5, 5.0 = 4.5
Good descriptions of processes visualized in animations
Clearly laid out
Good selection of materials; updated when possible
Reasonale vocabulary level
Quality of graphics detailed enough to view movements
More examples of individual movements (particularly vegetative and reproductive growth) would be useful
Perhaps more side-by-side visualizations would improve learning
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Potential Effectiveness: 4.5, 5.0 = 4.5
Great tool for visualizing plant growth processes
Accurately and effectively demonstrates relationships
Good for viewing concepts that are hard to describe
Promotes problem solving
Promotes conceptual understanding
Provides instructions to produce similar materials
Engaging and interesting materials presented
Perhaps specific assignments could accompany each of the animations
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Ease of Use: 4.5, 4.9 = 4.5
Instructions are clear and intuitive
Simple site design and page layouts
Easy to navigate and fast
Quick-loading video clips make them easy to use in lecture and keep students interested when browsing the Website
Some animations loop by default for maximum effect
No defective links
No major bugs
The beginning Webpage implies "showtimes," and may mislead users that site has limited access
Large file size requires long download times which could be frustrating for users with modems
The instruction Webpage needs to be included as a navigation link (as Home)
QuickTime is the only available format. Perhaps streaming format would reduce possible download time concerns (though image quality may be a trade-off)
More plant science projects in the Teaching / Learning Projects section would be welcome.
Other Issues and Comments:
Great Website. Well-done animations using quality graphics help visualize growth processes that cannot be detected bythe human eye.
Quick-loading, accurate, and entertaining clips can be easily integrated into lectures
Authors chose a nice array of interesting and educational aspects of plant movement