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Wednesday, May 13 • 10:45am - 11:15am
Supplementing Field Instruction with Videos and Dynamic Quizzing

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In FRST 201 – Forest Ecology at the University of British Columbia, students learn identification and ecological characteristics of 69 key plant species. This knowledge is critical for responsible forest management and requisite for subsequent courses. This is primarily taught in the field (e.g., at Pacific Spirit Regional Park and Cypress Provincial Park) during laboratory sessions.

Unfortunately, with high enrollment, it is challenging for all students to have adequate time to fully examine the plants in the field. Language obstacles, particularly specialized terminology, add additional challenge for English-language learners. Lastly, around 75 Chinese students transfer into forestry each year after completing 2 or 3 years of forestry education at partner universities in China. These students generally receive transfer credit for an equivalent Chinese course, so they are not entirely prepared for upper-level courses requiring knowledge of BC plants.

To better support student learning, we developed three resources. The primary resource is a publicly available collection of professionally produced 1-2 minute videos for 50 of the plants (http://bit.ly/BCPlants). These videos were filmed in the field, introducing the plants, showing key identification characteristics, and discussing the soil moisture and soil nutrient levels indicated by each. We deliberately chose the medium of video because it allows students to see the plants being touched and manipulated as they are described, conveying a better sense of scale and structure compared to what is possible from a photograph. In addition to the videos, we developed a companion website with photographs, botanical drawings, and text for each plant. Lastly, to promote student learning through the use of retrieval practice, we created a dynamic quizzing system (using Gravity Forms with WordPress) where students select which species they would like to be quizzed on, and practice quizzes are randomly generated based on a variety of question templates.

In this session I will present some of the videos, demonstrate the adaptive quizzing system, discuss the challenges in developing these materials, and share results from a student use and feedback survey.

avatar for Patrick Culbert

Patrick Culbert

Instructor, UBC Faculty of Forestry
I am a landscape ecologist in the Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences in the Faculty of Forestry of the University of British Columbia. My research interests include spatial patterns of biodiversity, land-use change, and the legacies of agricultural land use. As an instructor... Read More →

Wednesday May 13, 2020 10:45am - 11:15am
Ballroom 3
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