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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Australian Plants, Botany, and Horticulture.

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Mar 30, 2014 by Biology Editorial Board
Overview: This is the main website for a variety of botanical institutions presented as an initiative of the Australian government. These include the Australian Australian National Botanic Gardens (ANBG) as well as the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research (CANBR) and the Australian National Herbarium (ANH). The site includes material specific to these institutions as well as lots of material relevant to Australian plants in general.
Learning Goals: None stated. However, the educational goals of this site are to promote interest in Australian botanical species, as well as inform internet users about the topics of general botany.
Target Student Population: Upper level college students as some botanical sophistication is helpful in using this site.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Understanding of basic taxonomy and systematics would be needed to use some of the databases.
Type of Material: The resources of this site are presented in the form of links, text references, and JPEG images.
Recommended Uses: The resources housed on this website would be useful to students who were studying Australian plants or to instructors looking for images of plants or information.
Technical Requirements: Web browser.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths:
  • Excellent source of images and information on the unique flora of Australia
  • The information is accurate and provides a good basic background about the material
  • Lots of links to additional material both about Australian plants and plants in general
  • The website is vast and contains a huge amount of material
  • Images, videos, and audio files are appropriately categorized
Concerns:
  • There were no concerns about content quality at the time of this review

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths:
  • The website houses a vast amount of material in an amazingly accessible format
  • The organization is well thought out and promotes effective use of the resource
  • The images are excellent and have information on legal use
  • The keys and ID guides would be especially effective for anyone trying to identify Australian plants
  • The material is logically presented
Concerns:
  • This site is so extensive and houses so many resources a botanically inclined individual may be swallowed up for hours!

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths:
  • The home page is well organized and not too busy
  • The site appears to work as intended on Mac (Firefox and Safari) and PC (Firefox)
  • No defective links or major bugs were found
  • The menu on the left side helps users stay oriented in the site
  • The subheadings within each section of the website organize the material very effectively
Concerns:
  • None

Other Issues and Comments: None.