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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: Steven.Kelsch@und.edu.
    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 Science2011Vision and change in undergraduate biology education: a call to action, final reportWashington, DC[Online.] http://visionandchange.org/files/2011/03/Revised-Vision-and-Change-Final-Report.pdf
2. dela Cruz TEE, Pangilinan MVB, Litao RA2012Printed identification key or web-based identification guide: an effective tool for species identification?J Microbiol Biol Educ1318018210.1128/jmbe.v13i2.426236538093577316 http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v13i2.426
3. Edwards M, Morse DR1995The potential for computer-aided identification in biodiversity researchTrends Ecol Evol1015315810.1016/S0169-5347(00)89026-621236986 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0169-5347(00)89026-6
4. Farnsworth EJ, et al2013Next-generation field guidesBioScience6389189910.1525/bio.2013.63.11.8 http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/bio.2013.63.11.8
5. Karpicke JD, Blunt JR2011Retrieval practice produces more learning than elaborative studying with concept mappingScience33177277510.1126/science.119932721252317 http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1199327
6. Karpicke JD, Roediger HLIII2008The critical importance of retrieval for learningScience31996696810.1126/science.115240818276894 http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1152408
7. Klionsky DJ2008The quiz factorCBE Life Sci Educ726526610.1187/cbe.08-02-0009187657442527983 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.08-02-0009
8. Klionsky DJ, Bartholomew CR2011Quick quiz – is it really recall?J Microbiol Biol Educ127810.1128/jmbe.v12i1.291 http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v12i1.291
9. Kumar N, et al2012Leafsnap: a computer vision system for automatic plant species identification Fitzgibbon A, et alComputer Vision–ECCVSpringer-VerlagBerlin Heidelberg
10. Lytle DA, et al2010Automated processing and identification of benthic invertebrate samplesJ N Amer Benthol Soc2986787410.1899/09-080.1 http://dx.doi.org/10.1899/09-080.1
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12. McDaniel MA, Anderson JL, Derbish MH, Morisette N2007Testing the testing effect in the classroomEur J Cog Psych1949451310.1080/09541440701326154 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09541440701326154
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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v17i2.967
2016-05-04
2017-09-23

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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