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Journal: Journal of Baltic Science Education (Vol.15, No. 1)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ; ;

Page : 18-27

Keywords : adaptive memory; biology education; PowerPoint programme; realia;

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Botany is traditionally viewed as less attractive than zoology for students, despite the fact that plants play a key role in natural ecosystems. It is hypothesized that survival-relevant information may enhance learner's attention and that this information might be better remembered than others. Additionally, the use of the PowerPoint (PPT) presentation software in teaching biology is questionable, particularly in comparison with the use of realia. A theory of adaptive memory was employed in an experiment, in which the presence of fruits, their colour and their toxicity on samples of plants was handled. The memory scores and interest in plants of the participants were measured. The effectiveness of the PPT compared with the use of realia (live plants) was also analysed. The memory scores were highest in treatments with living samples of plants containing fruits. Survival-relevant information (plant toxicity) was better retained than survival-irrelevant information. Participants retained information about plants with dark fruits better than about plants with red fruits. The activities with live plants, but not the PPT, increased participant's interest in plants. In summary, using living plants and fruits over the PPT is recommended when teaching botany.

Last modified: 2018-04-15 14:56:46