Post a composite review
Unpost a composite review
Search all MERLOT
Click here to go to your profile
Select to go to your workspace
Click here to go to your Dashboard Report
Click here to go to your Content Builder
Click here to log out
Search Terms
Enter username
Enter password
Please give at least one keyword of at least three characters for the search to work with. The more keywords you give, the better the search will work for you.
select OK to launch help window
cancel help

MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


American Begonia Society

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4 stars
Content Quality: 4 stars
Effectiveness: 3.75 stars
Ease of Use: 3.75 stars
Reviewed: Mar 30, 2014 by Biology Editorial Board
Overview: This is the website for the American Begonia Society and a clearinghouse for all things begonia. It includes a variety of resources, including newsletters, articles, cultivar registry and lists of local chapters and events.
Learning Goals: None stated. The American Begonia Society lists its aims and goals and these could be considered learning goals for the resource. These are:
  • To stimulate and promote interest in begonias and other shade-loving plants
  • To encourage the introduction and development of new types of these plants
  • To standardize the nomenclature of begonias >li>To gather and publish information in regard to kinds, propagation, and culture of begonias and companion plants
  • To issue a bulletin that will be mailed to all members of the society
  • To bring into friendly contact all who love and grow begonias
Target Student Population: Any student, from high school through graduate school could use this resource.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: There are no pre-requisites needed to utilize this website.
Type of Material: The information is mostly reference material.
Recommended Uses: Mostly this resource would be useful to individuals with an interest in begonias. It could be used in classes or as an assignment by instructors, and the images may be particularly useful.
Technical Requirements: The site requires a basic web browser. Certain aspects of the site require the use of flash.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths:
  • Great variety of images and some videos
  • Excellent information on culture and care of begonias
  • Great amount of information on the American Begonia Society (by-laws, chapters, committees, history, officers, calendar of events, etc.)
  • Registry of begonia varieties.
  • Links to articles and newsletters on a variety of topics
Concerns:
  • The topic covered is relatively narrow
  • This site does not include much information on taxonomy or systematics of Begoniaceae, which reduces its quality for educational use
  • The site does not include an overview of begonias for the laymen, including basic information such as the number of species, distribution, flower and fruit morphology, etc.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 3.75 stars
Strengths:
  • This would be a very effective resource for horticulture classes or for students researching begonias due to the wide variety of material presented
  • The images are a prime resource and are often accompanied by discussion of the type or variety of begonia, thus providing in-depth information not easily found anywhere else for anyone researching begonias
  • The large collection makes it fun to explore many aspects of the subject matter
Concerns:
  • The topic (begonias) is obviously quite specific, so this resource would not be of much use to most people; mostly those interested in begonias would find this site of value
  • Many of the images are low quality and there is no obvious way to download or copy them, and no information on copyright or use is provided
  • The site includes acronyms and references to items that non-members of the ABS would not understand; this reduces its effectiveness for the general public

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 3.75 stars
Strengths:
  • A site map is provided
  • The site appears to generally work as intended on Mac (Firefox, Safari) and PC (Internet Explorer)
  • Very easy to navigate to the different major sections of site
  • Adobe Flash Animations load quickly and run smoothly
Concerns:
  • The site main page is very busy and it is not clear what materials are on the website for the uninitiated
  • Some links did not work
  • There are 19 menu choices in the bar at the top of the home page, which is overwhelming if a user does not know what they are looking for

Other Issues and Comments: There were no other issues with the site.