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Peer Review

Plant Anatomy Photomicrograph Images

by Eric Roberts


Overall Numeric Rating:

4.5 stars
Content Quality: 4.5 stars
Effectiveness: 4.5 stars
Ease of Use: 4.75 stars
Reviewed: Feb 09, 2014 by Biology Editorial Board
Overview: For Plant Anatomy, and even for General Botany courses, this is a very nice site to see photomicrographs of various plant cells and tissues. It is a basic site showing the images, accompanied by explanation of the terms used in identifying structures. The class syllabus is provided and the images are grouped according to the topics in the syllabus. There are 12 laboratory sections, reflective of the course load in a typical semester.
Type of Material: This site is a collection of photomicrographs for plant cells and tissues.
Recommended Uses:
  • In-class laboratory guide
  • Homework for in-class and online/hybrid classes
  • Lecture supplement
Technical Requirements: This site requires a basic browser for viewing images and text.
Identify Major Learning Goals: While specific learning outcomes are not listed for the site, users view and learn about plant cells and tissues.
Target Student Population: High School, College Biology Lower Division, College Biology (Botany) Upper Division.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: There are no prerequisites for this site, although advanced knowledge of cell and plant biology will help in understanding what is presented.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.5 stars
  • The images are beautiful, clear, and straightforward
  • The organization of topics follows a logical, pedagogical approach to plant anatomy
  • Good explanation of terms used makes it easier to understand the images
  • Very good selection of images for a plant anatomy class
  • It would be helpful to have both labeled and unlabeled versions of each photograph
  • More images of plant reproductive structures, fruits, and seeds would enrich this site
  • Information such as the magnification and a scale for each image will enhance the utility of the learning materials

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.5 stars
  • The images are well-chosen and clearly show features
  • Images are colorful and presented with very good focus
  • Terms and explanation of what is being viewed makes it easy for users to understand structures and tissues
  • Providing a parallel image (when available) viewed with a different microscope optics (bright field; polarized) enhances the utility of the learning materials
  • There are no clear learning objectives
  • More introductory information about how the site can be used would be helpful
  • A few interactive lessons, where labeling is required, would entice users to engage themselves in the learning
  • It would be more helpful if there is a separate page within the website that provides an answer key to the questions for each of the images

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.75 stars
  • The information is organized and follows a logical order
  • The images load very fast and they are easy to find
  • No defective links or major bugs were found
  • Providing an alternative download (thumbnail vs. full image) process enable users to have a cursory view of the materials available without going through the whole series
  • Users may find it frustrating if they cannot verify their answers to the review questions associated with each image

Other Issues and Comments: The images are sharp. Providing a choice for download (thumbnail vs. full view) is a plus for users who want to see what images are available.