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Printed Identification Key or Web-Based Identification Guide: An Effective Tool for Species Identification?

    Authors: Thomas Edison E. dela Cruz1,*, Ma. Victoria B. Pangilinan1, Rodrigo A. Litao2
    VIEW AFFILIATIONS HIDE AFFILIATIONS
    Affiliations: 1: Department of Biological Sciences, College of Science, University of Santo Tomas, España 1015 Manila, Philippines; 2: Department of Languages, College of Science, University of Santo Tomas, España 1015 Manila, Philippines
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 03 December 2012
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Dr. Thomas Edison E. dela Cruz, Department of Biological Sciences, College of Science, University of Santo Tomas, Espana 1015 Manila, Philippines. Phone: 632-406-1611, local 8297. Fax: 632-731-5728. E-mail: tedelacruz@mnl.ust.edu.ph.
    • Copyright © 2012 American Society for Microbiology
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2012 vol. 13 no. 2 180-182. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v13i2.426
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    Abstract:

    Species identification is often done with the aid of traditional dichotomous keys. This printed material is based on one’s decision between two alternatives, which is followed by another pair of alternatives until the final species name is reached. With the advent of internet technology, the use of an online database offers an updatable and accumulative approach to species identification. It can also be accessed anytime, and this is very useful for fast-changing groups of organisms. In this paper, we report the preference of sophomore Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Microbiology students to two identification guides as a tool in taxonomy. We wish to test our hypothesis that today’s students will prefer to use web-based ID guides over printed dichotomous keys. We also describe how these printed dichotomous key and web-based ID guides were used by the students as one of their laboratory activities in the course Biology of Algae and Fungi.

Key Concept Ranking

Airborne Fungi
0.5963276
Algae
0.44525898
Fungi
0.44525898
0.5963276

References & Citations

1. Krivomaz T 2010 Myxomycetes of Ukraine [Online.]http://myxomycet.com.ua. Accessed May 2012.
2. Kuo M 2007 Key to major groups of mushrooms [Online.] http://www.mushroomexpert.com/major_groups.html. Accessed May 2012.
3. Natural History Museum 2012 A guide to lichen on twigs [Online.] http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/life/plants-fungi/lichen-id-guide/index.dsml. Accessed May 2012.
4. Randler C 2008 Teaching species identification — a prerequisite for learning biodiversity and understanding ecology Eurasia J Math Sci Technol Educ 4 223 231
5. Stephenson SL 2003 Myxomycetes of New Zealand The fungi of New Zealand 3 Fungal Diversity Press Hong Kong
6. Varese GC, Anastasi A, Voyron S, Filipello Marchisio V 2010 An interactive tool for the identification of airborne and food fungi 183 187 Nimis PL, Lebbe RV Tools for identifying biodiversity: progress and problems Edizioni Università di Trieste Trieste, Italy
7. University of Georgia 2010 Discover life [Online.] http://www.discoverlife.org/. Accessed September 2010.
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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v13i2.426
2012-12-03
2017-07-26

Abstract:

Species identification is often done with the aid of traditional dichotomous keys. This printed material is based on one’s decision between two alternatives, which is followed by another pair of alternatives until the final species name is reached. With the advent of internet technology, the use of an online database offers an updatable and accumulative approach to species identification. It can also be accessed anytime, and this is very useful for fast-changing groups of organisms. In this paper, we report the preference of sophomore Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Microbiology students to two identification guides as a tool in taxonomy. We wish to test our hypothesis that today’s students will prefer to use web-based ID guides over printed dichotomous keys. We also describe how these printed dichotomous key and web-based ID guides were used by the students as one of their laboratory activities in the course Biology of Algae and Fungi.

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Figures

Image of FIGURE 1

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FIGURE 1

Responses of students (n = 39) to the survey on their perception of the printed dichotomous key and web-based ID guide.

Note: values are expressed in percentages.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2012 vol. 13 no. 2 180-182. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v13i2.426
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Image of FIGURE 2

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FIGURE 2

A sample dichotomous key for the identification of species of .

Photo Credit: S. L. Stephenson, University of Arkansas, USA.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2012 vol. 13 no. 2 180-182. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v13i2.426
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