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.
Type of Material:
The information is mostly reference material.
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.
The site requires a basic web browser. Certain aspects of the site require the use of flash.
Identify Major 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.
Evaluation and Observation
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
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
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
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
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
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