In Dr. Cynthia Dassler’s classes, students are using iPads to complete assignments in new ways. This semester, Dr. Dassler is teaching Organismal Diversity, EEOB 3320. She also taught a 7-week course, Ohio Plants, EEOB 2210, at the beginning of the semester. In both classes she has implemented iPads in student-driven activities to enhance and support her teaching.
Ohio Plants was the first of the two classes in which the iPads were used.
“Using them in Ohio Plants before implementing them in Organismal Diversity worked well because the labs in Ohio Plants were small, allowing each student to use an iPad individually or with a partner. This allowed me to troubleshoot an activity and the workflow before the activity was used in Organismal Diversity, which is a larger class.”
In Ohio Plants, students dissect and identify plants, and observe plants in various communities in the field. Fieldwork allows students to identify plant communities and to begin to evaluate the quality of a habitat, based on the plants present in an area. According to Dr. Dassler, iPads served as an excellent tool with which to perform these activities:
“The first activity that utilized the iPads was designed to introduce students to the plants that grow in prairies and to teach them how to evaluate the quality of the habitat using the plant data collected. iPads were used to record species presence and other supplemental data that the students then used to assess prairie quality through small group discussions centered around the iPad.”
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