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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Noble Foundation Plant Image Gallery

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4.6 stars
Content Quality: 4.7 stars
Effectiveness: 4.1 stars
Ease of Use: 4.9 stars
Reviewed: Jun 06, 2004 by Biology Editorial Board
Overview: The Noble Foundation?s Plant Image Gallery is an on-going project to include images and information about forbs, grasses, and woody species in the Ardmore, Oklahoma area. It is designed to assist botanists, ecologists, and natural resource managers with the identification of plants. It also is organized in a user-friendly manner that makes it accessible to agricultural extension specialists, classroom teachers, science students, farmers and ranchers as well as plant hobbyists. The site includes a collection of about 600 of the most common species found near Ardmore. More species will be included in the collection as time allows. This site is particularly useful because the images generally include the entire specimen as well as close-up pictures of identifiable plant parts. The specimens and links to their images are listed alphabetically by common name, scientific name, and family index or can be searched with the Image Gallery Search Engine.
Learning Goals: The Plant Image Gallery enables users with minimal skill levels to search the
categories effectively by scientific and common names, tribe names and image
gallery search engine general protocols. Students and instructors will learn how to identify plants from pictures and descriptions of the species.
Target Student Population: This site will be useful to the general public as well as high school and college students. Undergraduate and graduate students in agronomy, botany, plant physiology, plant anatomy, plant pathology, forestry, and horticulture, as well as and cooperative extension professionals, will be helped by the scientific and non-scientific search engines.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Knowledge of the basics of plant science would be helpful in navigating the
taxonomies. However, a person with no knowledge of plants could locate and
identify a large number of species.
Type of Material: The collection is presented in HTML in a collection of color photographs that
can be located by scientific or common name. In addition to photos, the species
and family names are provided along with information about season, longevity,
origin, height, and flower structure.
Recommended Uses: The site is designed to assist botanists, ecologists, and natural resource
managers with the identification of plants. It is also useful to educators in the classroom as well as students who are required to learn plants as a part of their studies. It would also be valuable to lay persons with an interest in plants.
Technical Requirements: The learning material is presented as HTML text and pictures. An Internet Browser is needed to view the information.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.7 stars
Strengths:

  • Most of the images are good quality and provide multiple images to see different morphological attributes of the specimens
  • The collection is appropriate for many of the species found in the Ardmore, Oklahoma area
  • Species identifications and descriptions are accurate
  • Listing species by common and scientific names helps identification
Concerns:

  • The collection is fairly small, although the authors intend to add more images as time allows
  • A few of the images are a little out of focus and/or contain distracting backgrounds
  • The information in the nomenclature that accompanies the pictures is sometimes incomplete (perhaps flower descriptions could be added)

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.1 stars
Strengths:

  • Text accompanying images builds knowledge about each species
  • Images are presented by common name, species name, and family, which shows flexibility of use
  • The simplicity of the image gallery makes it easy for instructors to develop assignments for learning
Concerns:

  • There are no learning modules or example quizzes provided to show how the site can be used in teaching
  • Learning about species identification is limited to the most common species found near Ardmore, Oklahoma
  • Lacks practical descriptors such as "would poison livestock"

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.9 stars
Strengths:

  • The site includes an Image Gallery Search Engine that makes it easy to find specimens
  • No defective links or major bugs were found
  • Easy to navigate and fast
  • Well organized
Concerns:

  • Some images were hard to download

Other Issues and Comments: This Plant Image Gallery is great for the Ardmore, Oklahoma Area. It?s a good start for what could be an impressive site for images of all (or most of) Oklahoma and Texas Species. The site is well organized and provides an excellent format for expansion. This site is very user friendly. Students at all levels will enjoy the ease of use and the consistent quality of the photographs. Of the numerous searches we made, there were no missing photos. The images can be successfully downloaded into PowerPoint, but there were some sizing problems encountered. With practice these problems will most likely be resolved and ease of downloading greatly enhanced.