The online platform - the Plant Science TREE, developed by the University of Leeds with funding from the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, was one of two entries from the University of Leeds to be highly commended by the international MEDEA awards.
The aim of the MEDEA Awards is to encourage innovation and good practice in the use of media (audio, video, graphics and animation) in education. The awards also recognise and promote excellence in the production and pedagogical design of media-rich learning resources. This year the awards attracted 237 entries from 29 countries and the judging panel was made up of 112 judges.
The Plant Science TREE, which has been designed to grab the interest of undergraduates entering biological science courses, provides a central repository bringing together online research lectures and other contributions from plant science academics across the world in an easily accessible and browsable online format at: http://www.tree.leeds.ac.uk .
Prof Alison Baker of the Centre for Plant Sciences at the University of Leeds, said: “We are very pleased to have had this International recognition. The aim of the site was put a tool in the hands of educators that would engage students in plant science and research, especially where expertise is becoming limited and we are glad that the value of this has been acknowledged at this level”
More than 90 research academics and publishers have contributed over 2000 resources, including online research lectures, research-led lecture slides, practicals, video clips and other resources on topical plant science. The TREE is freely available and is currently used by scientists, educators and students from over 320 institutes worldwide.
A new study, published in New Phytologist, found that the online research lectures helped students understand their lecture course, their subject and improve their course work. Students were unanimously of the opinion that viewing an online research lecture was a good way of learning about a subject.
Dr Aurora Levesley said: “The TREE online research lectures represent a valuable tool for educators to introduce cutting-edge plant science research examples that address globally relevant applied initiatives as well as curiosity-driven research to their students. Our study shows that they have the potential of changing student attitudes to plant science, of engaging students in research and are able to reach a large and wide global student audience.”
6th November 2014
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