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Species-Recognition Program: A Computer-Assisted Approach to Recognizing Species

    Authors: Steven Kelsch1,*, Jeffrey Carmichael1
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    Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND 58202
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 04 May 2016
    • ©2016 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    • [open-access] This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode), which grants the public the nonexclusive right to copy, distribute, or display the published work.

    • Supplemental materials available at http://asmscience.org/jmbe
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Department of Biology, Stop 9019, 10 Cornell St., University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND 58202-9019. Phone: 701-777-4284. Fax: 701-777-2623. E-mail: [email protected].
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2016 vol. 17 no. 2 269-274. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v17i2.967
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    Abstract:

    Species recognition is a crucial component for many types of biological studies. To that end, broadly trained students must be able to accurately identify many different types of organisms. Courses that focus on learning the names of different species traditionally rely on preserved specimens viewed during class or laboratory time. Unfortunately, reliance on preserved specimens comes with many challenges in providing students with an optimal learning experience. The curriculum activity described here uses a modified PowerPoint file (species-recognition program—SRP) as a means of helping students learn to recognize and identify fishes based on subtle visual cues. Our results indicate that students were better able to identify fish species when using the SRP as a learning approach than when using preserved specimens. We suggest that the SRP approach to species recognition is an effective, viable alternative or supplement to preserved specimens that can be easily implemented in any course that emphasizes species identification. Information and materials are provided to enable instructors to create their own species-recognition programs. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education

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References & Citations

1. American Association for the Advancement of Science 2011 Vision and change in undergraduate biology education: a call to action, final report Washington, DC [Online.] http://visionandchange.org/files/2011/03/Revised-Vision-and-Change-Final-Report.pdf
2. dela Cruz TEE, Pangilinan MVB, Litao RA 2012 Printed identification key or web-based identification guide: an effective tool for species identification? J Microbiol Biol Educ 13 180 182 10.1128/jmbe.v13i2.426 23653809 3577316 http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v13i2.426
3. Edwards M, Morse DR 1995 The potential for computer-aided identification in biodiversity research Trends Ecol Evol 10 153 158 10.1016/S0169-5347(00)89026-6 21236986 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0169-5347(00)89026-6
4. Farnsworth EJ, et al 2013 Next-generation field guides BioScience 63 891 899 10.1525/bio.2013.63.11.8 http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/bio.2013.63.11.8
5. Karpicke JD, Blunt JR 2011 Retrieval practice produces more learning than elaborative studying with concept mapping Science 331 772 775 10.1126/science.1199327 21252317 http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1199327
6. Karpicke JD, Roediger HL III 2008 The critical importance of retrieval for learning Science 319 966 968 10.1126/science.1152408 18276894 http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1152408
7. Klionsky DJ 2008 The quiz factor CBE Life Sci Educ 7 265 266 10.1187/cbe.08-02-0009 18765744 2527983 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.08-02-0009
8. Klionsky DJ, Bartholomew CR 2011 Quick quiz – is it really recall? J Microbiol Biol Educ 12 78 10.1128/jmbe.v12i1.291 http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v12i1.291
9. Kumar N, et al 2012 Leafsnap: a computer vision system for automatic plant species identification Fitzgibbon A, et al Computer Vision–ECCV Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
10. Lytle DA, et al 2010 Automated processing and identification of benthic invertebrate samples J N Amer Benthol Soc 29 867 874 10.1899/09-080.1 http://dx.doi.org/10.1899/09-080.1
11. MacLeod N 2008 Automated taxon identification in systematics: theory, approaches and applications CRC Press Boca Raton, FL
12. McDaniel MA, Anderson JL, Derbish MH, Morisette N 2007 Testing the testing effect in the classroom Eur J Cog Psych 19 494 513 10.1080/09541440701326154 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09541440701326154

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2016-05-04
2019-06-17

Abstract:

Species recognition is a crucial component for many types of biological studies. To that end, broadly trained students must be able to accurately identify many different types of organisms. Courses that focus on learning the names of different species traditionally rely on preserved specimens viewed during class or laboratory time. Unfortunately, reliance on preserved specimens comes with many challenges in providing students with an optimal learning experience. The curriculum activity described here uses a modified PowerPoint file (species-recognition program—SRP) as a means of helping students learn to recognize and identify fishes based on subtle visual cues. Our results indicate that students were better able to identify fish species when using the SRP as a learning approach than when using preserved specimens. We suggest that the SRP approach to species recognition is an effective, viable alternative or supplement to preserved specimens that can be easily implemented in any course that emphasizes species identification. Information and materials are provided to enable instructors to create their own species-recognition programs. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education

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Figures

Image of FIGURE 1

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FIGURE 1

Screen shot of SRP showing viewable items when image is first presented to the user (A) and items revealed after mouse click (B). Fish image was obtained online from the public domain at www.public-domain-image.com/free-images/fauna-animals/fishes/alewife-fish.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2016 vol. 17 no. 2 269-274. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v17i2.967
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Image of FIGURE 2

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FIGURE 2

Self-quiz scores for species recognition by students using the species-recognition program (SRP) over three consecutive trials. Scores are self-reported. Data represent mean ± standard deviation. = 77, 75, and 60 over the three trials respectively.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2016 vol. 17 no. 2 269-274. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v17i2.967
Download as Powerpoint
Image of FIGURE 3

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FIGURE 3

Quiz scores for species recognition by students using either the species-recognition program (SRP) or traditional method (TM) as the primary learning strategy. Each quiz consisted of five digital images and five specimens, all of which were previously unseen by students. Data represent mean ± standard deviation for all six quizzes combined. Mean values labeled with different letters are significantly different ( < 0.05). = 79 quizzes for SRP and 73 quizzes for TM.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2016 vol. 17 no. 2 269-274. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v17i2.967
Download as Powerpoint
Image of FIGURE 4

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FIGURE 4

Performance results for portion of final exam based on specimens and novel images (images of fish that had not been presented to students previously). Data represent mean ± standard deviation. Mean values labeled with different letters are significantly different ( < 0.05). = 9 students.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2016 vol. 17 no. 2 269-274. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v17i2.967
Download as Powerpoint
Image of FIGURE 5

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FIGURE 5

Student survey results showing their perceptions of the effectiveness of the species-recognition program (SRP) versus the traditional method (TM) in promoting species recognition.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2016 vol. 17 no. 2 269-274. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v17i2.967
Download as Powerpoint

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