UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

The development and assessment of the effectiveness of a multimedia introduction to plant secondary metabolism Looney, Michael Bradley 1999

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-ubc_1999-0551.pdf [ 5.93MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0099400.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0099400-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0099400-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0099400-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0099400-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0099400-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0099400-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0099400-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0099400.ris

Full Text

T H E D E V E L O P M E N T A N D A S S E S S M E N T OF T H E EFFECTIVENESS OF A M U L T I M E D I A I N T R O D U C T I O N T O P L A N T S E C O N D A R Y M E T A B O L I S M by M I C H A E L B R A D L E Y L O O N E Y B.Sc, The University of British .Columbia, 1986 A THESIS S U B M I T T E D I N P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T OF T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S FOR T H E D E G R E E OF M A S T E R OF S C I E N C E i n T H E F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES (Department of Plant Science) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard TFiE U N I V E R S I T Y OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A September 1999 © Michael Bradley Looney, 1999 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, 1 agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT Few biologists have an appreciation of plant secondary metabolism. Computer-based interactive multimedia is, potentially, an ideal medium with which to introduce a novice to the subject. The development of a web-based program designed to teach some aspects of plant secondary metabolism is described. The program was field-tested on thirty second-year organic chemistry students. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses are reported. The analyses attempted to determine 1) if the program is an effective tool wi th which to introduce secondary metabolism and 2) to assess the perceived effectiveness of the overall design and user-interface. The program is included on an accompanying C D - R O M . Requirements for the C D are any computer capable of running Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer versions 4.0 or greater. A current version of the program can be found on the Wor ld Wide Web at: http:/ /www.interchange.ubc.ca/looney/pchem. TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract i i Table of Contents i i i List of Tables i v List of Figures v Acknowledgement v i Dedication v i C H A P T E R I I N T R O D U C T I O N 1 1.1 Historical perspective 1 1.2 Interactive multimedia in education 6 1.3 Plant secondary metabolism and the potential of interactive mult imedia for providing an introduction to the subject 8 1.4 Goals of the study.. 10 C H A P T E R II M E T H O D O L O G Y 11 2.1 Development process 11 2.2 Features of the program 13 2.3 Evaluation methodology 22 C H A P T E R III RESULTS A N D DISCUSSION 24 3.1 Introduction 24 3.2 Quantitative analysis... 25 3.2.1 Overall pre- and post-test results 25 3.2.2 Success in meeting the learning objectives 27 3.2.3 Results for individual learning objectives 29 3.2.4 Summary of quantitative analysis 31 3.3 Qualitative analysis (questionnaire results) 32 3.3.1 Effectiveness of the application as a learning tool 33 3.3.2 Effectiveness of the user interface 41 C H A P T E R IV C O N C L U S I O N A N D P E R S O N A L L E A R N I N G O U T C O M E S . . . . 45 4.1 Conclusion 45 4.2 Personal learning outcomes 48 L I T E R A T U R E CITED 49 Appendix I. Addit ional references 53 Appendix II. Recruitment letter 56 Appendix III. Informed consent form 57 Appendix IV. Example pre- and post-tests 59 Appendix V . Questionnaire 61 Appendix VI . C D - R O M and U R L 63 List of Tables. Table 2.1. Software uti l ized 12 Table 3.1. Overal l pre-test/post-test results 26 Table 3.2. Success in meeting the learning objectives 27 Table 3.3. Survey of the perceived effectiveness of the application as a learning tool 33 Table 3.4. Survey of the perceived effectiveness of the user interface 41 List of Figures. Figure 2.1. Screen shot of a QuickTime animation 14 Figure 2.2. Screen shot to illustrate the use of text 15 Figure 2.3. Screen shot illustrating pop-up definitions 16 Figure 2.4. Screen shot showing links between related topics 17 Figure 2.5. Menu bar 18 Figure 2.6. Screen shot of integrated help 19 Figure 2.7. Screen shot of a sample question from the integrated quiz 20 Figure 2.8. Screen shot of a portion of the reference list 21 Figure 3.1. Pre-test vs. post-test scores by respondent 25 Figure 3.2. Success in meeting the learning objectives 27 Figure 3.3. Identification of class of compound 29 Figure 3.4. Identification of biosynthetic origin 30 Figure 3.5. Identification of function 31 Figure 3.6. A n illustration of the relationship between primary and secondary metabolism 36 Figure 3.7. A n illustration of the biosynthetic origin of a secondary metabolite from primary metabolic precursors 37 Figure 4.1. Example of summary table 47 v A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S I wish to express my deepest gratitude to my thesis advisor Dr. Brian E. Ellis for his support, encouragement, and boundless patience. As well , I appreciate the support of my committee members: Drs. Murray Isman and Janice Woodrow. I am indebted to Dr. Keith Ellis of the Chemistry Department at Douglas College for expressing interest in the program, and for allowing me to invade his classroom. Thanks are due to the thirty students of Chemistry 420, winter semester 1999, at Douglas College, for agreeing to participate in this study and for the impressive degree of attention they gave when using the program. M u c h gratitude is expressed to my friends and colleagues at Douglas College for their encouragement and support. In particular I wish to thank: Myrta Hayes, Dr. Al l en Bil ly, Susan Greathouse, and Dr. Len Mil l i s . Thanks also to Bob Hirtle of Douglas College for advice and help with the statistical analysis (I think I get it now!). Thanks to Ms. Bev Busch of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences at U B C for handling the questionnaires. Thanks to Carol A n n Borden for support and friendship. For dragging me away for beer when I should have been working I blame Jeff Rustand. A n d thanks to my family: my brother John and mother Janet, without whose assistance I couldn't have accomplished any of this. Finally, I express my appreciation to Dr. Bruce A . Bohm of the Department of Botany at U B C for introducing me to plant secondary metabolism in all of its facets, and for making the time for the many enjoyable discussions we had. To my brother John Wi l l i am Looney without whose encouragement, support, and guidance I never would have attended university in the first place. I. I N T R O D U C T I O N 1.1 Historical perspective. The information explosion, and our endless struggle to stay abreast of information, is not a recent problem. Vannevar Bush, in his seminal article "As We May Think", argued that information overload was a problem dating back to the mid-nineteenth century (Bush, 1945). As an example, he cites Mendel's publication on the laws of genetics which was lost for a generation because it "...did not reach the few who were capable of grasping and extending it." If we are to avoid missing the contributions of future Mendel's, Bush suggested we needed new and better methods of information storage and retrieval, as well as new ways of presenting and interacting with sources of information. Historically, the primary means of scholarly communication has been the written word. The Gutenberg Press, and the concomitant rise in literacy, has lead to an ever-expanding number of documents. But the problem of information overload is not just that the written record of human history has grown so vast, it is that we do not have any effective and efficient means of accessing that record. Furthermore, once a record is located and consulted, it is often a cumbersome task to seek related documents, and this is a serious impediment to progress since the human mind "...operates by association. With one item in its grasp, it snaps instantly to the next that is suggested by the association of thoughts, in accordance with some intricate web of trails carried by the cells of the brain." (Bush, 1945). Developing better ways to connect to related records and documents should free us from our current ineptitude: Presumably man's spirit should be elevated if he can better review his shady past and analyze more completely and objectively his present problems. He has built a civilization so complex that he needs to mechanize his records more fully if he is to push his experiment to its logical conclusion and not merely become bogged down part 1 way there by overtaxing his limited memory. His excursions may be more enjoyable if he can reacquire the privilege of forgetting the manifold things he does not need to have immediately at hand, with some assurance that he can find them again if they prove important. (Bush, 1945). Bush envisioned a complex system in which all of an individual 's records would be stored and cross-referenced. Bush called his system a memex (short for memory extender). A memex would store and access text as wel l as graphics, video and audio. Developing a memex would be made possible because technological advancements of the twentieth century had produced other means of depicting and presenting information as we recorded things "conventionally by wri t ing and photography, followed by printing; but we also record on f i lm, on wax disks, and on magnetic wires." (Bush, 1945). In short, mult imedia! Bush's vision inspired many of the key figures involved in the development of personal computers, and, in particular, influenced the ways in which we interact wi th those computers. Among his disciples were Douglas Engelbart and Ted Nelson. In 1962, Engelbart outlined a framework for a research program which would serve to lay the groundwork for the development of most of the computer-based tools which we use today (Engelbart, 1962). In the early 1960's, computers were considered nothing more than unwieldy, and expensive, computational devices (Levy, 1984). Engelbart, however, demonstrated that computers could be used effectively to "augment the human intellect" 1 if the technology is adapted to human pursuits rather than forcing humans to adapt to the technology. 1 "By 'augmenting human intellect' we mean increasing the capability of a man to approach a complex problem situation, to gain comprehension to suit his particular needs, and to derive solutions to problems. Increased capability in this respect is taken to mean a mixture of the following: more-rapid comprehension, better comprehension, the possibility of gaining a useful degree of comprehension in a situation that previously was too complex, speedier solutions, better solutions, and the possibility of finding solutions to problems that before seemed insoluble."(Engelbart, 1962). 2 In 1968, Engelbart publ icly demonstrated his hypermedia-groupware system, N L S (oN-L ine System), to the Fall Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco. He and his team at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) had developed a networked office automation system in which users had a graphic user interface wi th which to traverse an information space. N L S included, but was not l imited to, the fol lowing: the mouse, multiple (but not overlapping) windows, hypermedia, groupware, integrated online help, a consistent user interface, and shared-screen teleconferencing (Bootstrap Institute, 1994). The key development that permitted effective navigation through this space was the computer mouse. In developing the mouse, Engelbart and his team tried a number of devices. Their goal was to develop something that was a seamless extension of a human's body which could "reach into and manipulate a wor ld constructed only of information." (Levy, 1994). Ted Nelson took Bush's idea of weaving an associative trail through an information space and coined the term hypertext in 1965 (Nielsen, 1995). Hypertext is "...non-sequential writ ing-text that branches and allows choices to the reader, best read at an interactive screen. As popularly conceived, hypertext is a series of text chunks connected by l inks which offer the reader different pathways." (Nelson, 1987). Nelson later extended this definition to include graphics, sound, and animation in the form of hypermedia (Cotton and Ol iver, 1993). Nelson echoes Bush when he says that hypermedia more closely models the way people think rather than fol lowing the linear path most traditional paper-based documents force upon the reader. Nelson's ambitious project, "Xanadu" , is his attempt to develop a hypermedia system which w i l l l ink all of the Wor ld 's literature into one vast hyperspace (Cotton and Oliver, 1994). 3 In 1967-68, Andries van Dam, at Brown University, implemented the first hypertext systems: Hypertext Edit ing System and File Retrieval and Edi t ing System (FRESS), each of which had significant commercial success (Nielsen, 1995). However, both systems were l imited by being strictly text-based. Fu l l realisation of the ideas of Vannevar Bush and Douglas Engelbart wou ld require widespread adoption of a standardised graphical user interface (GUI). By the mid-1970's, Engelbart lost his funding and many of his staff moved on to Xerox P A R C (Palo Al to Research Centre), where they continued to develop and refine the work on GUI 's which was started at SRI. One of the key figures at Xerox, and later at App le Computer, was A lan Kay. Kay was influenced by Marshal l McLuhan 's contention that the Gutenberg press didn't just make print materials widely available, but rather, the use of those materials changed the thought patterns of a civil isation. By extension, if computers are a new medium and not simply a tool, then the very use of them could also be predicted to change our thought patterns (Kay, 1990). In 1968, Kay conceived the Dynabook to realise this vision. A Dynabook would be a wireless personal communication assistant. It wou ld be cheap, portable, and have a graphic user interface. It wou ld have an integrated, easy to use, object-oriented programming environment, and be as ubiquitous as a paperback book (Cotton and Oliver, 1994). The Dynabook has never been built, but the concept has had a profound influence on the development of personal computers. Critics of educational computer technology have charged that the same wi ld ly optimistic claims are being made for computers today as were made for television in the 1960's and other technological innovations (Green and Gilbert, 1995; Postman, 1985; Roszak, 1994; Stoll, 1995). Proponents of computer aided instruction respond by pointing out that, unl ike television, computer mult imedia actively engages the user mentally wi th the medium while provid ing the user wi th some control over the 4 content and way in which it is used (Landow, 1997). Further, it has been shown that "people retain 10 percent of what they see, 20 percent of what they hear, half of what they see and hear, and 80 percent of what they see, hear and do." (Pable, 1995). Unl ike any other medium, interactive mult imedia provides the means wi th which to engage most of our senses: tactile, visual, auditory, and even olfactory 2, and therefore, it is argued, there exists the inherent potential in interactive mult imedia to reach the 80 percent bracket. The work of Engelbart, Nelson, and Kay heavily influenced the development of today's widespread graphical user interfaces such as those found in the familiar Macintosh and Windows operating environments. The shift from a command line interface to a graphical user interface finally made possible the realisation of ful ly interactive mult imedia as an educational tool. 2 It was reported in New Scientist, M a y 22 1999, that a C D pressing company plans to offer "scratch and sniff" CDs , D V D s , and C D - R O M S . 5 1.2 Interactive mult imedia i n education. Reeves (1999) describes two types of interactive mult imedia: those that people learn " f rom" (instructivist) and those that people learn "w i th " (constructivist). Instructivist mult imedia is based on behaviourist learning theories, and it follows a typically didactic model (Wilson, 1997a). Reeves (1999) outlines four steps inherent in using instructivist tools: 1) exposing learners to messages encoded in media and delivered via an interactive technology, 2) assuming that learners perceive and encode these messages, 3) requiring a response to indicate that messages have been received, and 4) providing feedback as to the adequacy of the response. Most computer-aided instructional packages fall under the category of instructivist software. Examples of instructivist software are the dri l l and practice applications of the 1970's and 80's, interactive C D - R O M S of the 1980's and 90's, and many current Wor ld Wide Web sites (Herrington and Standen, 1999). Generally, instructivist software is designed to act as a tutor. These tools have long been embraced by educators as they are viewed as more efficient than traditional approaches, are capable of provid ing immediate feedback, and, most importantly, are engaging and motivating for students (Makedon et al, 1994). However, as classrooms move to more learner-centred environments, and away from the didactic model, there is an emerging need for software that allows for collaboration, creativity, and personal expression (Mi lrad, 1999). This current trend is based on the phi losophy of constructivism. In a constructivist environment, users are encouraged to take an active role in developing their own representations of knowledge (Harper et al, 1996; Shneiderman, 1993; Wi lson, 1997a), and to take responsibility for their learning (Wilson, 1997b). The tools used in an instructivist environment include anything that can be used to construct a web of knowledge, for example multimedia authoring software (Harper et al, 1996; Reeves, 1999). This is not to suggest that instructivist software has no role to play within a constructivist framework. In fact, instructivist software can be the primary source material used in a constructivist learning environment (Herrington and Standen, 1999). Reeves' (1999) contention that "...the real power of interactive learning to improve achievement and performance may only be realized when people actively use computers as cognitive tools rather than simply interact wi th them as tutors or data repositories" is essentially the same as that espoused by Bush, Engelbart, Nelson, and Kay. That is, until now, most uses of computer technology in education have been in the "instructivist" mode. The current trend toward more constructivist learning environments should result in computers being used in more creative ways. 7 1.3 Plant secondary metabolism and the potential of interactive mult imedia for providing an introduction to the subject. Plant Secondary Metabolism refers to natural plant products that are not considered "essential" for basic life processes (in contrast to primary metabolism) and that are generally restricted to one, or several closely related, species. Organic chemists may prefer the term, Natural Product Chemistry, to refer to the same phenomena. Few biologists have an appreciation of plant secondary metabolism. This is probably due to the fact that most biologists have never been formally exposed to the topic. A s undergraduates, most biologists are required to take courses in introductory organic chemistry and biochemistry where the focus tends to be restricted to reactions of functional groups (organic chemistry) and primary metabolic processes (biochemistry). Courses dealing wi th secondary metabolism, if offered at al l , are l imited to the higher level undergraduate or graduate level, and enrolments are generally small. This lack of appreciation for plant secondary metabolism is disappointing considering the important roles secondary metabolites play in maintaining the general health and wel l -being of human societies. The human species has always made extensive use of plant secondary metabolites. Since time immemorial , secondary metabolites have been used as flavourings for food, as medicinals, as pigments for artwork and clothing, and tools to achieve spiritual enlightenment (Emboden, 1979; K le in , 1987). Dur ing the Renaissance, the botanic gardens of Europe were established mainly as physic gardens and their mandate was to explore the healing power of plants (Taylor, 1990). In the mid-nineteenth century, organic chemists began to isolate the active principles in many of the medicinal and psychoactive plants used by humans, and thus initiated the formal study of natural product chemistry (Geissman and Crout, 1969; Mann , 1987). Among the earliest compounds isolated were "morphine, strychnine, quinine, caffeine, nicotine, codeine, camphor, and cocaine." (Mann, 1987). A s a field of enquiry, secondary metabolism is relevant to a diverse group of disciplines: Plant Biology, Ecology, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Microbiology, Mycology, Food Science, and even Anthropology and Psychology. A s a result, while there is a wealth of literature devoted to secondary metabolism, it is often approached from the perspective of another discipline. Even among the general texts available, most focus on specific facets of the subject, for example Harborne's "Ecological Biochemistry" (1993) and John Mann's "Chemical Aspects of Biosynthesis" (1994). Thus, for the uninitiated, encountering the current literature for the first time can be a daunting experience. Secondary metabolism can be approached from two broad perspectives: 1) an organic synthesis approach (here the focus is strictly on identifying l ikely precursor molecules for an isolated compound and proposing a l ikely biosynthetic pathway), and 2) from a natural history perspective (here the emphasis is on the plants producing the compounds, the role of the compounds in the plant, and their effect on human societies). Secondary metabolism can be a visual and dynamic field. It is visual in the sense that there are literally tens of thousands of secondary compounds which have been isolated from plants and it is much simpler and clearer to represent those compounds as structures rather than relying on descriptive terminology. A s wel l , in text material, too often the plants producing the compounds are not il lustrated, the consequence of which is that often a reader w i l l be left wi th little appreciation of the plants involved. It is a dynamic field in that biosynthetic sequences are f luid and not static as is represented on paper. Since computer-based mult imedia allows one to represent data visual ly and visualise dynamic phenomena which is not wel l represented on paper (Cotton and Oliver, 1994; Kay, 1990; Nelson, 1987), an accessible mult imedia introduction to plant secondary metabolism may hold some potential for br idging the gap between the neophyte and the literature. 9 1.4 Goals of the study. The goals of this study were: 1) to develop an interactive mult imedia introduction to plant secondary metabolism, and 2) to assess the effectiveness of the application as a learning tool. The target audience was defined as anyone requiring an introduction to plant secondary metabolism who has had at the very least some exposure to organic chemistry and introductory biochemistry. Therefore, the application was intended to serve a diverse group of people ranging from undergraduate and graduate students to college faculty. Four learning objectives were identified prior to developing the application. In increasing order of complexity, a learner would be deemed to have been successfully introduced to the subject if they could: 1. Define secondary metabolism and describe the relationship between pr imary and secondary metabolism. 2. Identify a specific class of secondary metabolite. 3. Describe the biological role(s) of selected compounds or class of compounds. 4. Identify the biosynthetic origin of a given compound. This study attempted to determine whether a mult imedia introduction to plant secondary metabolism can be an effective method of introducing the topic to the uninitiated. A primary goal of the evaluation was to determine if, and to what extent, the learning objectives had been met. Addi t ional goals were to 1) evaluate the perceived effectiveness of the application as a learning tool, and 2) evaluate the quality of the end-user interface. Whether or not interactive mult imedia as a method of delivering instructional materials is superior to a traditional lecture/text-based approach is a question still open to debate (Makedon, 1994; Reeves, 1999; Y i ld iz and Atk ins, 1993), and no formal comparison was attempted in this study. 10 n. METHODOLOGY 2.1 Development process. Development of this program began in the Fall of 1994. The goal was to use the medium of the computer to present facets of plant secondary metabolism that are difficult, if not impossible, to present effectively with traditional media. Originally, the intent was to develop a cross-platform, stand-alone program that would be distributed on CD-ROM. At that time, the internet was not a practical vehicle for distributing multimedia materials. NCSA Mosaic was gaining popularity as a web browser over text-based counterparts such as Lynx (Nielsen, 1995), but it was still mainly a hypertext medium with limited graphic capabilities. An initial prototype program was developed in HyperCard on an Apple Macintosh™. HyperCard was chosen as it is a good tool for rapid prototyping and the Macintosh platform was considered to be the platform of choice for developing multimedia materials (Vaughn, 1993). However, in order to reach the widest audience, the final program was to be implemented using a cross-platform authoring tool. For that purpose, Allegiant SuperCard was selected as a potential cross-platform authoring tool since a Microsoft Windows player was in development for this Macintosh-based authoring tool. However, the release deadline was frequently postponed and by 1998 the SuperCard Windows player had still not been delivered. In the meantime, the World Wide Web had evolved to the point where it was feasible to deliver interactive multimedia programs utilizing plug-in technology, specifically Apple's QuickTime™, and HTML documents (Lynch and Horton, 1997; Stern and Lettieri, 1998). The program was therefore converted to a Web-based format using HTML and JavaScript in the Spring of 1998. For the current version of the program, the delivery 11 requirements are for a 4th generation browser (Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator) wi th the Apple QuickTime™ plug- in . Table 2.1 summarizes all the software utilized for the development of this program. Software Purpose HyperCard 2.1 Initial prototype SuperCard 2.5 and 3.0 Second prototype Macromedia Director 6.0 An ima t ions QuickTime™ 2.5 and 3.0 An ima t ions GifBui lder An ima t ions Adobe PhotoShop 3.0 Image editing Transparency Image editing (transparent gifs) SimpleText H T M L coding and editing BBEdit Lite 4.0 H T M L coding and editing ChemDraw Chemical structures Netscape Navigator 4.0 Web browser Internet Explorer 4.0 Web browser Table 2.1 Software utilized. 12 2.2 Features of the program. Implementation of graphical user interfaces for both operating systems and programs has relied heavily on the use of metaphor (Laurel, 1990). Examples are the "desktop" metaphor for the Macintosh finder and the "page" metaphor for World Wide Web browsers. Unfortunately, many times the use of metaphor has been an impediment to taking full advantage of the potential offered by computer technology (Kay, 1990; Nelson, 1990). The page metaphor for web pages has, for example, resulted in numerous books and papers being repurposed for delivery over the web. In many cases, this is an appropriate method for sharing documents, and indeed it was what the internet was initially designed to accomplish (Kennedy, 1998). However, for developing instructional modules for delivery over the World Wide Web, it is an entirely inappropriate metaphor. As Ted Nelson has said: "Imitating paper on a computer screen-as almost all consumer programs presently do-is like tearing the wings off a 747 and using it as a bus on the highway." (Nelson, 1990). Alan Kay has argued that "hypermedia is much more a 'user illusion' than a 'metaphor'." A "page" metaphor will encourage printing parts of hypermedia documents which destroys the useful associations built into the structure of the material (Kay, 1990). To take full advantage of the "user illusion", web-based learning material should be designed and used strictly as screen-based programs. When developing this program, the first question asked was: how can the medium of the computer be used to introduce plant secondary metabolism in a way that can't be addressed with any other media? The most obvious advantage of using computers in this context is their power to visualise chemical reactions and biosynthetic pathways. Paper-based documents generally only show key steps in the biosynthesis of complex secondary compounds as it is impractical, and potentially confusing, to show all of the intermediate steps on paper. QuickTime™ animations, on the other hand, allow one to render biochemical pathways, which employ all of 1 3 the known intermediates and reaction sequences, in a compact package. The end-user is presented with more detail than is possible on paper, and yet, is not overwhelmed with a morass of detail as only one or two molecules are present at any given time. The user also has control over how much of a sequence is viewed at once and can also easily review difficult portions of a sequence indefinitely without being distracted by the "noise" and clutter of unnecessary compounds (e.g. figure 2.1). Figure 2.1 Screen shot of a QuickTime™ animation. 14 Further considerations for designing for the computer screen addressed the use of text. Since a computer display is poor medium for reading (Lynch, 1994), and it has been demonstrated that reading speed is 30 percent slower on screen (Nielsen, 1995), text was kept to a bare min imum and the material was broken up into small "chunks" so that, usually, only one or two key messages were displayed on each screen (e.g. figure 2.2). Netscape: Ihe Phytochemu.il World B B UAJN MENU CASE-STUDIES Tr»> Ahtinth* Ori Ham COMPOUNDS MOSVMTHESES: ftawpncid; H U P ' IMLXBLQUIZ. P l a v o n o i d s I l . iv . inonos ib*aes lcwded continue Ftava nones, thoughtarty urvcomrnon. « / • th* t>B« ccrrpouna of 9rap*fYu* »r>dcfartc3» rinds. rvuiro»nin glycosK*» ar5rSsp«»f«itin qlycosK* r*sp»ctiY»ty OM 0 White notallftavaocr^-s a ' * MC*nn this >raOr»:*tr>*y are ro <>:>ut< very [ Jump to page See A l s o Figure 2.2 Screen shot to illustrate the use of text. 15 A primary design goal was to have the user as actively engaged wi th the program as possible and not allow them to take on the role of passive recipient. Therefore, I attempted to make it graphically rich, and employed as much interactivity as possible. That is, most screens require the user to click on graphics or "hot" text to reveal more information (e.g. figure 2.3). • •M't \( <t [i r: (.1 us sci ry tag! i mm tha Miiutocheinical World " s i t E s s e n t i a l o i l s The total steam-dtstilted volatile fraction isolated from a strife specie* Generally comprised of mono- and $*vquft»«p*rv>»as, pnerry^ xopar>:.>>3->. arxi bengO* acid derrvatives ( CLOSE | o u r s / S c e n t s |utate olfactory ractory sense ts not inmals, HydGfingutshinq odour of rotting to be associated It vo able BIOSYNTHESES BgMlMl m HCLPI I M C THtOULL ~ i 1.1 > i iII • iTwfcnccmponentsof m* essential oil fraction There are many secondary compounds belonging to severa I df>rer< c lasses corHnfUting flavours and scents Themost common are the rrr-r»v and s^scniternenoidj. ; >^i-sc.-. - i - - ; a'-3 benzoic aci3der-vatr.es The ij-C'nur ; yncouros of tfie various A&um and Crucferae spec tesa fee. make a sicjnrvcanc contrfcuhon. tut are roc considered here See XI so Retrace Figure 2 . 3 Screen shot illustrating pop-up definitions. 16 Links were made between related topics so that the user could make their own connections between topics and therefore construct their own learning path (e.g. figure 2.4). • MMB Netscape: The Phytorhemic*! World H y d r a n g e a S e p a l s See Also Detailed biosynthesis of 9* basic ttavon>ti s* • \ tevonoKfs An ov*Tr*vr c* tr* structure and functwn of ma |Of navonoid classes Colour An irfrCKjucton to tr* ptv>nr.*r*>r>on of COtOV in pla res Figure 2.4 Screen shot showing links between related topics. • i 1 v i r*ry, COMPOUNDS I f' 5 M . E BIOSYHTHCSCS: M M KEBHHB HE1P' The program features four main topic areas: 1) Phenomena, 2) Case-Studies, 3) Compounds, and 4) Biosyntheses, each of which is accessible from a persistent menu bar (figure 2.5). "Phenomena" provides a brief introduction to three topics in which secondary metabolites play a role: Colour, Flavours and Scents, and Poisons and Medicinals. Hypertext links are provided from each of these topics to other parts of the program. "Case-studies" provide four specific examples of phenomena in which secondary metabolites are involved. First is the molecular basis behind the phenomenon of red/blue Hydrangea sepals. In the second, The Absinthe Figure 2.5 Menu bar. Drinkers reveals the potentially deleterious active ingredient in the popular liqueur, absinthe. N e w M o w n Hay describes the source of the sweet smell of cut hay and the potentially dangerous impact of the resulting coumarin. A n d finally, "Cocaine" describes the historical use of cocaine in South America. A l l of these case-studies provide hyper-links to other relevant sections of the program. "Compounds" provides detailed descriptions, and distribution in the Plant Kingdom, of selected compounds from four classes: flavonoids, alkaloids, phenylpropanoids, and terpenoids. "Biosyntheses" provides detailed QuickTime™ animations of the biosynthesis of selected compounds from each of the four classes. 18 O n screen help is provided in the form of a graphic detailing the features of the program and possible modes of navigation (figure 2.6). N e t s c a p e : P h y t o c h e m i c a l W o r l d H e l p ! mm mam menu select topics here current topic sub topic on screens w i th mul t ip le images wait fo r th is prompt to continue ARttiecjraMB u*9«* Jo»t*l cantinue A Cwrnan .riVtrW »rc.u?.J r«jti_-'r'n»"i. fwri A i i H M M B l x manual c play/pause movies ^ r>-~TXV control o i movie tempo bold blue text reveals def in i t ions and/or mo£e detai I XHc<*«f »«rK"7pir.im «r» . * r r « l turn .>r» cf fhr»-» orrnpotmfe OlMwjri .r.'i>i of ri/*>.»yl»t>c.n, OflwOiytoBCTi JV:OsyWtKm, »nO ii-yUtK-i*. see also reveals related topics retrace steps previous /next screen C L O S E Figure 2.6 Screen shot of integrated help. A n integrated quiz consisting of one question per screen provides immediate feedback (figure 2.7). • >*t««i>* Ih*l*ytofhen*K«lWorld B B Figure 2.7 Screen shot of a sample question from the integrated quiz. 20 A n d finally, a reference list of all sources consulted is also provided (figure 2.8). Netscape: The Phytorhemical World JAIN MENU R e f e r e n c e s PMIMUfllMA l l ' I ' i . ' M l ' CAM SIUDIIS COMPOUNDS Eliil'yifXiiaifiii: BIOSYNTHESES: PturylprrMOPidi LUiSatliM tHIPl TAKE THC QUIZ WHTrrCT MFP Arnold. WN 1988 VirKer»vanGot*3harKithethuroi>econr^ Journal of me Ameo:a n M»d»:a I AssocBbon 260(20) 3042-3044 Arnold. WN 1989 At-smme Sciermc Ameoran 260 112-117 ArnoW. WN.TP Dafcon.L S Loftus.and PA Conan i991 Asearcnfor santonin in A/ttm*$ap<nil)at. me other vyemrwood of oW absirfhe Journal* Chemical Education 68(1) 27-28 Brouitttrd, R i98t Oriqinof theexceprxmai cotour stabiHyof the &emn» arthocyanin Ph.tcvhemrjtry 20 14 3-145 Broutfiard, R 1983 The in vrvo expression ofanthc<vanin co»ur in plants Ph,to:h*mistry 22(6) 1311-1323 Conrad. B 1988 At-sinthe History in a Bottle Chronicle Books. San Franc iso Dangle*.O.N Sato.ar.3R Brouiltard. 1993 Anthc<vanmintramolecular <opigmert«ffect PhyfcHirwKriisfry 34(1) 119-124 Errto.3en.vv 1979 Narcotic Plants Ntecrnillan Publishing Co Ine New Tor* Qnesbacri. R J . 1384 Effects otcaroter»ji.3-arrJ>xvaniric<:*ntiinatx.ns on flowercofcjur J Hered 7? 145-147 Karborne. J B.1964 Plant polypher>ols--xi Thesirui;tureofacyiated artthQ-,yanirr$ Phyft>'hemtstry 3 151 160 Figure 2.8 Screen shot of a portion of the reference list. 2.3 Evaluation Methodology. Increasingly, researchers are placing less emphasis on quantitative analyses and more on qualitative analyses when assessing educational programs (Hoepfl, 1997; Reeves, 1992). Quantitative analyses have been criticized since they generally assess whether or not a topic has been learned in the traditional sense (i.e. whether specific learning objectives have been met) rather than determining if any greater depth of understanding has been achieved (Hoepfl, 1997; Reeves, 1992). As wel l , quantitative data tells us little about the quality of a product. Reeves (1992) argues that our goal is to improve the conditions of learning and not to "prove" that any one method is "better" than any other. Qualitative analyses seek information that is useful in improving the product and is more in keeping wi th a constructivist approach. Formative evaluation fits this model nicely . Formative evaluation seeks to collect "...information for the purpose of informing decisions to design and improve the product" (Flagg, 1990 quoted in Krygier et al, 1997 and Reeves, 1992). Formative evaluation is an iterative process which shapes the development and refinement of products which w i l l ultimately be more attuned to the needs of the intended audience (Basiel et al, 1997; Wi lson, 1997b). A formative experiment is only considered concluded when the desired needs have been met (Reeves, 1992). Formative evaluation is in stark contrast to many development models which identify a concept, produce a product, and deliver the product to market (Haykin, 1994). The limitations inherent in such an approach is that the characteristics of the end-users are not a factor. I have used a combination of qualitative and quantitative assessment for this study. Quantitative analysis in the form of pre and post-tests sought to establish whether or not the program was successful in assisting the users to meet the four learning objectives. Qualitative analysis in the form of a questionnaire was used to assess the 22 perceived effectiveness of the program and the perceived quality of the user interface. The development of the program attempted to incorporate formative evaluation in that the interface was informally tested whenever an observer was present dur ing the development. This resulted in some minor modifications to the user interface prior to formal testing. A n d it should be stated that the results reported here w i l l inform decisions to further modify and improve the product. A pre-test/ post-test (appendix IV) was employed to assess the mastery of the learning objectives. In this situation, a Student's t-test is normally used to assess the differences between means. However, a t-test assumes a normal distribution and roughly equal variances (Sachs, 1984) and these conditions were not met here. Transformations of data can occasionally result in data sets that w i l l meet the requirements for a t-test (McMi l lan, 1997). Since the two data sets (pre-test and post-test) allowed pair ing of samples, taking the differences between pre and post-test scores gave an approximate normal distribution. A "t-test for testing the mean of pair differences for zero" was determined to be appropriate (Sachs, 1984). Interview-style questionnaires (appendix V) were employed to assess the perceived effectiveness of the program and the quality of the user interface (Hoepfl, 1997). The test group for this study was comprised of 30 second-year organic chemistry students from Douglas College in New Westminster, B.C. The pre-test was given five weeks prior to testing the program. The study was conducted in a computer lab wi th in the college. The participants spent from one to one and one-half hours working wi th the program and this was followed immediately wi th the post-test quiz and questionnaire. There were two sessions wi th approximately an equal number of participants in each. 23 III. R E S U L T S A N D D I S C U S S I O N 3.1 Introduction. Data was collected from pre- and post-tests and from a questionnaire. The p re - and post-tests were designed to quantitatively assess the participants' ability to meet three of the four learning objectives, while the questionnaire was designed as a qualitative assessment of the perceived effectiveness of the program as a learning tool, and of the quality of the user interface. In increasing order of anticipated difficulty, the learning objectives were: 1. To be able to define secondary metabolism. 2. To be able to identify a specific class of compound. 3. To be able to identify the biosynthetic origin of a compound. 4. To be able to identify a known or suspected function of a compound. For objective 1, the participants were asked to define secondary metabolism. For each of learning objectives 2, 3 and 4 the participants were shown eight compounds (two flavonoids, two terpenoids, two phenylpropanoids, and two alkaloids) (appendix IV). Participants were asked to identify the class of compound shown, state the biosynthetic origin, and identify a known or suspected function for each compound, for a total of 24 questions. These questions constituted the p re - and post-tests (appendix IV). 24 3.2 Quantitative analysis. 3.2.1 Overal l p re - and post-test results. The pre-test was given the week of February 8, 1999 and the post-test was given the week of March 16, 1999. There were thirty participants. The pre-test/post-test data was analyzed using a t-test for the mean of the pair differences for zero (Sachs, 1984). Data is also reported for each of the indiv idual learning objectives, as wel l as for ind iv idual questions wi th in each objective. The pre-test range of total correct answers was 0-21% with a mean of 7% ± 5% and a median of 6%. The post-test range of correct answers was 0-79% with a mean of 36%, ± 22% and a median of 33%. The t-test statistic is t=6.78 > 1.70o.05; one-tailed. That is, at a 95 percent confidence level, the nul l hypothesis is rejected and these results are therefore statistically significant. Figure 3.1 shows the difference between the pre-test and post-test results for each respondent (absence of data point equals a test score of zero). Table 3.1 summarizes these results. Figure 3.1 Pre-test vs. post-test scores by respondent 8 0 % 1 7 0 % m • — I ; i I I 60% I OJ C M C O ^ l T ) (D h- c O O T O i - c y c O ^ L O t O r ~ C O 0 5 O T - c \ J C 0 T f m c O r ~ OO O) O c . - - I - . - . - - ' - . - . - I - . - -i - C V I W W CM (M W W W N CM 0 0 $ Respondent E •pre-test; range: 0 to 21%; mean=7% "post-test; range: 0 to 79%; mean=36% 25 Post-test Pre-test M e a n 36% 7% Standard deviation 22% 5% Observations 30 30 df 29 t Stat 6.78 t Critical(0.05) one-tail 1.7 Table 3.1 Overal l pre-test/post-test results. 3.2.2 Success i n meeting the learning objectives. Figure 3.2 shows the results of the pre- and post-tests for each of the learning objectives and table 3.2 summarizes these results. F i g u r e 3.2 S u c c e s s in m e e t i n g l e a r n i n g o b j e c t i v e s 7 0 % T 6 0 % -e 5 0 % -s t 4 0 % -S 3 0 % -c o 2 0 % -r e 1 0 % -0 % > ,60° « 6 2 -r-a0%T, 18 w -r-jQ%| 2 8 Def in i t ion C l a s s of c o m p o u n d B iosyn the t i c or ig in Learn ing ob jec t ive flj P re - tes t , N=30 • Pos t - tes t , N=30 F u n c t i o n Learning Objective N 1.Definition of Secondary Metabol ism pre-test post-test 13% 60% 30 Learning Objective mean N 2. Identification of class of compounds pre-test post-test 21".. 62% 30 3. Identification of biosynthetic origin of compounds pre-test post-test 0% 18% 30 4. Identification of function of compounds pre-test post-test 0% 28% 30 Table 3.2 Success in meeting the learning objectives. 2 7 For objective 1, the participants were asked to define secondary metabolism. In the pre-test, 4 of 30 respondents (13%) were able to provide an acceptably accurate definition. For example: secondary metabolism is "how the byproducts of primary metabolism are used up/converted." In the post-test, 18 of 30 respondents (60%) were able to define secondary metabolism. For objective 2 (identification of class of compound), the participants were given a choice of the four classes of compounds covered in the program: flavonoids, terpenoids, phenylpropanoids, and alkaloids (appendix IV). They were given a choice of these four classes in order to focus their attention on secondary metabolites and not organic functional groups wi th which they would have been familiar. The pre-test mean for questions related to objective 2 was 21%. The post-test mean was 62%. For objective 3 (identification of biosynthetic origin of compound), the pre-test mean was 0%. The post-test mean was 18%. For objective 4 (identification of function of compound), The pre-test mean was 0%. The post-test mean was 28%. 28 3.2.3 Results for ind iv idua l learning objectives. For objective 2, identification of class of compound (appendix IV), the results for the individual questions are shown in figure 3.3. For this objective the participants were asked to choose from flavonoids, terpenoids, phenylpropanoids, or alkaloids. F i g u r e 3.3 I d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f c l a s s of c o m p o u n d 1 oo% e c F lav l Flav2 Te rp l Terp2 Phe1 Phe2 Alk1 A lk2 C l a s s of C o m p o u n d I Pre-test, N=30 • Post-test, N=30 29 For objective 3 (identification of biosynthetic origin), the results for indiv idual compounds are shown in figure 3.4. F i g u r e 3.4 I d e n t i f i c a t i o n of b i o s y n t h e t i c o r i g i n p 4 0 % -e r e n F l a v l F lav2 T e r p i . T e r p 2 Phe1 Phe2 A l k 1 A l k 2 Class of Compound I Pre- tes t , n=30 IZl Post - tes t , n=30 30 For objective 4 (identification of known or suspected function), the results for indiv idual compounds are shown in figure 3.5. 5 0 % -p 4 5 % -e r 4 0 % -c e 3 5 % -n t 3 0 % -a 2 5 % -9 e 2 0 % -s 1 5 % -c 0 1 0 % -r 5 % -e 0%? F i g u r e 3.5 I d e n t i f i c a t i o n of f u n c t i o n F lav l Flav2 " | I I — i "' | limn ' | nil r Terp l Terp2 Phe1 Phe2 Compound Alk1 Alk2 Pre-test, n=30 Post-test, n=30 3.2.4 Summary of quantitative analysis. In summary, the participants demonstrated considerable improvement in identifying the class of indiv idual compounds after using the program. The most significant improvement was in identifying flavonoids and the least improvement was in identifying phenylpropanoids and alkaloids. In the case of flavonoids since they are a relatively uniform group, once exposed to them they are easily recognized. The participants were less successful in identifying biosynthetic origins and functions, but this was expected as these were the more difficult of the four objectives 31 3.3 Qualitative analysis (questionnaire results). A n interview-style questionnaire consisting of 20 questions was used to assess the program qualitatively. The first nine questions assess the participants' perceptions of the effectiveness of the program, and the remaining eleven questions address the quality of the user interface. There were 30 respondents for the questionnaire (subjects A to D D ) . 32 3.3.1 Effectiveness of the program as a learning tool. Table 3.3 summarizes the questions and responses for the nine questions used to assess the effectiveness of the program. The category "other" indicates either no response, or else a response that could not be categorised as either yes or no. Question X Yes X o Other 1 D i d this program have any relevance to what you've studied in organic chemistry and/or biochemistry? 24 83% 4% 12% 2 Are there any reaction mechanisms which you've studied in organic chemistry that you saw here? 27 70% 11% 19% 3 Do you feel that you now have a better understanding of the relationship between primary and secondary metabolism? 30 57% 17% 27% 4 D i d you find the program interesting? 30 83% 0% 17% 5 D i d you find the program challenging? 30 73% 20% 7% 6 W o u l d you want to use the program again? 30 77% 3% 20% 7 D i d you find the treatment of the subject to be at the right level? 30 67% 27% 7% 8 W i l l you follow this up wi th some reading on this topic? 30 30% 33% 37% 9 W o u l d you want to take a full course on this subject? 29 45% 31% 24% Table 3.3 Survey of the perceived effectiveness of the as a learning tool. The first question asked the respondents if the had any relevance to what they had studied in organic chemistry and/or biochemistry, and, if so, to give an example of how it was relevant. None of the topics covered in the wou ld have been discussed in either of their organic chemistry or biochemistry classes. However, since secondary metabolism can be viewed as applied organic chemistry, I hoped they would see the connection. The 83% positive response indicates that they did , 4% did 33 not see any relevance, and 12% responded otherwise. A s for specifying how it was relevant, many respondents focused on specific reaction mechanisms. For example, subject A said they recognized "resonance structures and nucleophilic attack." Others, however, were more general in their response. Subject R stated: "In the chemical mechanisms of acylation, dehydrbxylation, etc. It gave more meaning to the origins of chemical compounds being studied." Subject U said: "Yes, because it showed biochem reactions step by step and gave examples of how they apply to everyday life." Subject X: "I used my organic chemistry knowledge to help me understand why reactions happened the way they did . If I didn't know anything about organic chemistry then all the molecules would just look like lines and symbols." A n d finally subject D D : "It gave an example of how many of the reactions/mechanisms we have learned can be found in nature." Subject F, however, saw no relevance at all: "I am only studying organic chemistry and we are not doing any of this stuff in our class." It is encouraging that the majority d id see the relevance and appreciated seeing the "real-world" applications. Question 2 asked if there were any reaction mechanisms which they've studied in organic chemistry that they saw in the and if so, which ones and where? This question was intended to determine whether they were able to transfer knowledge gained in one setting and apply it to another. The 70% positive response suggests that they were able to do so. The majority, however, were unable to give any specific examples. A frequent response was that they were sure that there were mechanisms but couldn't remember any. Eleven percent d id not see any familiar reaction mechanisms, and 19% responded otherwise. Those that d id see and remember mechanisms were very specific: Subject B saw "1. Bond rearrangement. 2. hydroxylation. 3. enolization. 4. Claisen reaction. 5. oxidation reactions." Subject C wrote: "Almost all chemical reactions relate to nucleophilic reaction or electrophilic reaction. Later it extends to oxidation/reduction reaction. There are lots of 34 mechanisms in the program! Moreover, it was familiar to some of terms, such as good leaving groups." Subject L stated: "Eno l and keto reaction, acylation. hydrolysis, oxidat ion/reduct ion." Subject N mentioned: "formation of keto groups and stabilization in the biosynthesis of f lavonoids. -condensation reaction. -isomerization. -methylation. -decarboxylation." Subject R suggested: "acylation, dehydroxylation, electron transfer, dereal izat ion of charge." Subject D D listed: "Cla isen condensation, esterification" Question 3 asked if after completing the program they felt they had a better understanding of the relationship between pr imary and secondary metabolism. The program attempts to illustrate the relationship between primary and secondary metabolism wi th the use of graphics. The introduction to the program provides an overview of this relationship (figure 3.6). This overview is expanded in the overview screens in the biosyntheses section (figure 3.7). 35 Netscape: overviewJitml — E El Primary metabol i tes Secondary Cruras? • erythrose^phosplttle 1 1 p y r u v a t e S. * m r m t * r a m i n o . p b d n r l p r o p o n o i d f iliptntk ojnira? odds r alkaloids acetyl CcA " r flavonodd* B c n k n c a o d » tcxpenoids •the and cycle Pigmxc 1. 1^3 kejetocarjip k cmcr. .-'nmscy Dad Scccrrery Metabotem l L O = fc Figure 3.6 A n illustration of the relationship between primary and secondary metabolism. F l a v o n o i d B i o s y n t h e s i s Flavonoids are of mixed biosynthetic origin The A-ri ng or ig i nates from three mo lec ules H O . of malonyl-CoA via carboxylation of acetyl-CoA. The B-ring and bridge carbons originate from p-coumaroyl-CoA via the general p he ny Ipropa no id pathway .OH Glucose > i phosphoenolpyi uv&te pyruvate i acetyl-CoA eiythiose-4-pbosphate 1 • s h i k i m i r add aromatic amino acids 1 Phenylpzopazioids (p-couzoaioyl-SCoA) A l OH 0 B 'OH V malonyl-CoA Flavonoids j—\ Flavonoid Biosynthesis — iQuickTime movie (350K) See A l s o R e t r a c e Figure 3.7 A n illustration of the biosynthetic origin of a secondary metabolite from primary metabolic precursors. 37 The 57% positive response to question 3 is disappointing and it suggests that the program d id not articulate the relationship between primary and secondary metabolism very wel l . In fact one person stated "I don't know if I realized what was the focus. I'm not really clear on the difference." (subject J). Subject A A said "A l though I am familiar wi th organic chemistry, the program material was new to me and overwhelming considering the amount of information." However, a few respondents were able to say wi th confidence that they had a better understanding. For example, Subject F said " N o w I know what secondary metabolism means. I didn't know unti l today." Subject BB: "Definitely, this program is very enlightening." The response to question 3 correlates wel l wi th their ability to define secondary metabolism (60%) on the quantitative post-test quiz, and it suggests that in future revisions of the program the relationship between pr imary and secondary metabolism should be more clearly explained. Question 4 asked if they found the program interesting. Since one of the goals of the program is to promote phytochemistry as a subject worthy of further study, it is important that users f ind the presentation interesting. N o one answered negatively and 83% said they found it interesting. The most common response stated that the phenomenon of colour was most interesting. Others l iked the " real -wor ld" examples. Question 5 asked if they found the program challenging. This question was asked to determine if the presentation was sufficiently detailed to keep the users mentally engaged. Seventy-three percent said it was challenging and 20% said it was not. The section on mechanisms appeared to be the most challenging. Subject D's response is typical: "The mechanisms (electron movement) were very complex." Those that d id not f ind it challenging said it was not challenging "even if you have a little background of the material" (Subject T). A n d even though Subject A A did not f ind 38 it challenging they "...could have spent more time wi th the program in order to gel the new information." Question 6 asked if they would want to use the program again and if not, why not? This question was asked to determine if the users felt that the material presented was worthy of repeated investigation. Seventy-seven percent said that they would use it again but most qualified that by stating only if they had a specific reason to, for example as a supplement to a course. Only 3% said they would not use it again. Subject C said "It was not too much different to read a book." However, that is a minority view as subject L said "I would definitely prefer reading this than a textbook." A n d subject M thought that "...this is an interesting/easy way to learn (study) about the organic compounds, it isn't boring but much more fun than studying the textbook." A n d some would use it again simply for the sake of learning: Subject I said "I wou ld like to use it again. I am sure if I spent more time I (would) learn lots of interesting things from this program." A n d Subject R: "In fact I wish I had more time to go through it thoroughly." Question 7 asked if they found the treatment of the subject too superficial, too detailed, or if it was at the right level? The participants in this study were deemed to be an ideal representation of the target audience. If the program hits the right level wi th this group it should also be at an appropriate level for all other user groups. A n d since organic chemistry is fresh in the participants' minds, they should be able to provide the most critical assessment. Sixty-seven percent found it to be at the right level. 27% found it a little too detailed. N o one thought it was superficial. Subject K found it to be at the right level "because you have the option to go into more detail if you choose." A n d Subject BB thought it "...contains all levels of learning. By clicking you can learn detailed info." Subject R however, thought "some parts were very detailed for a person who does not have a strong grasp of 39 organic chemistry, (i.e. ME! ) . " Question 8 asked if they would fol low their use of the program wi th some reading on the topic and if not, why not? This question was also asked to determine if the program sparked any interest in the subject. This question invoked a very mixed response wi th 30% saying they wou ld , 33% saying no, and 37% responding otherwise. The question was probably misunderstood by some of the respondents as some said they were very busy at the moment studying for final exams. However, it sparked interest in some people like Subject K who initially said they wou ld not because "I was never really interested in chemistry behind plants." but added: " However, I d id f ind the different natural uses for products produced used today and in the past quite interesting. Therefore, I wou ld read on this subject." But for many, the topic just didn't interest them enough, and some went so far as to say "Personally, I hate plants so I probably w i l l not." (Subject T). A n d finally, question 9 asked if they would want to take a ful l course on the subject. Aga in , this question was asked to assess if any potential long term interest was generated. Thirty percent said no mainly because the topic doesn't interest them, it has no relevance to their program of study, or it looks very difficult. However, 43% wou ld want to take a course in secondary metabolism as it has applications to medicine, it is related to organic chemistry and biochemistry, and Subject T said "If it is taught anything like this web page, I wou ld strongly consider taking the course." In summary, the program appears to have been successful in sparking interest in the subject of secondary metabolism. The majority were challenged by the program, and found the treatment of the subject interesting. The " rea l -wor ld " examples seem to have been appreciated by many of the participants. In a field in which course enrollment is low, it is gratifying that 43% would want to take a course in the subject. 40 3.3.2 Effectiveness of the User Interface. Eleven questions were asked to assess the effectiveness of the user-interface. For a program to be effective, it is important that users are able to accomplish what they set out to do wi th the minimum of difficulty. A n effective user interface w i l l be "invisible" to the user (Nelson, 1990). That is, users w i l l know where they are wi th in the program and they w i l l not have the sense of being lost in an information space. Table 3.4 summarizes the questions and responses for the 11 questions assessing the perceived effectiveness of the user interface. Question N Yes N o Other i D i d you find the program easy to navigate? 30 87% 0% 13% 2 D i d you know where in the program you were at all times? 27 89% 11% 0% 3 D i d the links make logical connections between topics? 28 100% 0% 0% 4 D i d you follow the program in a linear sequence? 30 80% 20% 0% 5 D i d the program restrict you from charting your own path? 26 4% 96% 0% 6 D i d you use the help screen? 30 3% 97% 0% 7 Were the animations easy to follow? 30 67% 7% 27% 8 W o u l d a voice-over enhance your ability to follow the animations? 29 55% 38% 7% 9 Were the graphics clear and easy to understand? 29 100% 0% 0% 10 Was there enough detail? 29 70% 19% 11% 11 D i d the quiz reinforce the concepts? 28 81% 0% 19% Table 3.4 Survey of the perceived effectiveness of the user interface. 41 The first question asked if they found the program easy to navigate. Eighty-seven percent said it was easy to navigate, 13% responded wi th " O K " or not at al l , and no one responded negatively. They were also asked what features they particularly l iked or disl iked. Not everyone understood that the question was asking about the user interface but of those that d id , many said they l iked the pop-up definitions. Hav ing the menu bar available at all times was helpful, and al lowing the user to chart their own path was appreciated as Subject C C said: "Many options allow the user to make the decisions, N O T the program." A couple of respondents noted that a few hyperlinks d id not have a "go back" option and that left them frustrated. The second question asked if they knew where in the program they were at all times and if not what d id they do to get back on track. Eighty-nine percent always knew where they were, 11% did not. The majority referred to the menu bar to reorient themselves. A few held their mouse button down and selected "go back". Question 3 asked if the links made logical connections between topics. Everyone was in agreement that they d id. However, Subject A A said that they "...missed the emphasis on primary and secondary metabolism". Subject D D appreciated the hypermedia structure as "...it's good to be able to jump around to related information-i t seems more interactive." Question 4 asked if they chose their own path through the program or fol lowed it in a linear sequence, and to explain why. This question was asked to determine if they took advantage of the hypermedia structure of the program, or if they treated it like more traditional media. Eighty percent fol lowed the program in a linear sequence whereas 20% charted their own path. The majority responded that they thought fol lowing in a linear sequence was more logical, and several said that they thought it was set up that way. Those that chose their own path d id so to "...aid in learning 42 those topics" as Subject V said. Or "picked stuff that seemed interesting" (Subject W). The fifth question asked if the navigation restricted them from charting their own path. Only one user felt restricted. Subject S thought it wou ld be less restrictive if all the related materials were presented together. Question 6 asked if they used the " H E L P ! " screen. A n d if so, d id it tell them what they needed to know? Only one user accessed the help, and it d id answer his or her question. Question 7 asked if the animations (movies) were easy to follow? Sixty-seven percent thought they were easy to follow and 7% did not. Many commented that the animations went too fast. However, the speed of the animations was not an issue for those who discovered that they could manually control the tempo. For example, Subject J said: "...I didn't realize until part way through that I could control how fast they went." Question 8 asked if a voice-over wou ld enhance their ability to follow the movies, keeping in mind that this wou ld slow download times? Fifty-five percent thought that it wou ld be helpful, 38% did not think that it would . Question 9 asked if the graphics were clear and easy to understand, which graphics seemed to be the clearest, and how the graphics could be improved. Everyone thought that the graphics were clear enough. Subject BB suggested adding colour to the molecular structures. Subject A thought adding real photos in place of the drawings wou ld be an improvement. 43 Question 10 asked if the online quiz reinforced any of the concepts. Eighty-one percent said that it d id , no one responded negatively, and 19% responded otherwise or offered no response. Subject E felt the quiz reinforced some concepts because "...I was able to go back and f ind the answers to some of the questions I was not able to answer." Subject I l iked the quiz because "...I think (it) gave us a brief summary of the topics." The only complaint was that the quiz was too short. In summary, based upon the responses of the participants in this study, the user interface appears to be effective. Only one user resorted to the help screen. The majority knew where they were at all times, and those that d id not, were able to get back on track relatively easily. A s the hypermedia pioneers predicted, given the opportunity people w i l l make "associative l inks" between topics rather than follow a linear sequence. It is surprising, therefore, that 80% of the participants fol lowed the program linearly. It is possible that the hypermedia structure of the program is too l imited as it presently stands, or it contains too little content material. This is an area worthy of further investigation. 44 IV . C O N C L U S I O N A N D P E R S O N A L L E A R N I N G O U T C O M E S 4.1 Conclusion. The results reported here support Engelbart's prediction that computers can provide "...the possibility of gaining a useful degree of comprehension in a situation that previously was too complex..." (Engelbart, 1962). The participants in this study had little or no prior knowledge of plant secondary metabolism. After one and one-half hours wi th the program, they demonstrated a statistically significant, improved, post-test score and, more importantly, they acquired some appreciation for, and comprehension of, plant secondary metabolism. This program was developed within a classic constructivist framework. That is, material was gathered from diverse sources and assembled into one individual 's personal representation of the field of plant secondary metabolism. Implementation of the program for the purpose of assessing it's effectiveness followed a typical "instructivist" framework as outlined by Reeves (1992; cf. p.6). That is, the participants were given a set amount of time to use the program as a tutor and were then assessed as to how wel l they were able to meet the specified learning objectives. However, development of the program attempted to design it for use in any environment. The program is non-linear, so it should encourage exploration, discovery, and reflection. It incorporates authentic (real-life) examples which served to pique interest, and it also served to enhance the relevance of what the participants were studying in organic chemistry. Therefore, depending on its implementation, the program could be used as either an instructivist or constructivist tool. 45 4.2 Personal learning outcomes. The following design considerations undoubtedly contributed to the successful aspects of this program and are recommended starting points for developing any interactive mult imedia program: 1. The first question to ask is why use computers? What can be accomplished wi th the medium of the computer that can't be accomplished wi th any other media? Too often print materials are being repurposed for the computer screen wi th the result that the potential inherent in computers as "cognitive" tools is not being realized (Kay, 1990; Reeves, 1999). 2. Design wi th one message per screen and keep the amount of text to be read to a min imum. The low resolution of computer displays is an impediment to reading speed and scrolling through text can be a disorientating experience for most users (Lynch, 1994). 3. Bury depth: provide pop-up fields for definitions of terms and other details. Several participants appreciated the ability to go into more detail if they chose. 4. Design for interactivity. To prevent users from becoming passive recipients force engagement by requiring some action to be taken on each screen. 5. Provide a consistent user interface wi th simple navigation aids. Provide a history list or retrace button (Lynch, 1994). 6. Provide feedback in the form of integrated quizzes and provide links to topics for review. 7. Create non-linear environments that encourage exploration and discovery. Do 46 not develop linear programs of individual "modules" wi th specific learning objectives to be mastered. 8. A v o i d the use of metaphor. Treat computers as a new medium and design for the computer screen (Kay, 1990; Nelson; 1990; Laurel, 1993). 9. Use formative evaluation. Users w i l l interact wi th a computer module in unexpected ways. To develop a module without input from the target audience is to invite disaster (Reeves, 1992; Hoepfl, 1997). The following points arose as a result of user feedback and should be incorporated into future versions of the program: 1. A d d summary screens. In the section on anthocyanins, a summary table of the factors affecting the color of an anthocyanin was provided (figure 4.1). Some participants commented that more of them would be useful. Factors affecting the colour of an anthocyanin Fac to r Effect Metal chelation Hydroxy lation and O-rnethylation pattern of the B-ring. Co-pigmentation Both inter- and i ntta-rno lec u lar co-p igrne ntatio n is k no wn Extent and variation of acylating compounds attached to the glycosy moieties Acylating compounds may protect I the chrornophore (anthocya.nidin) from attack bv water. pH of the medium May affect the availability of chelating metals Figure 4.1 Example summary table. 47 2. Provide voice-overs for the QuickTime animations. Even though users were able to manually control the tempo of the animations, the majority commented that a voice-over w o u l d enhance their understanding. The design of this program was informed more by human-computer interface design issues than by pedagogical issues. Both interface design and current education practices (in particular those that employ technology within a constructivist learning environment) borrow heavily from the findings of cognitive psychology (Bruner, 1996; Laurel, 1990). Fol lowing either of these disciplines results in remarkably similar outcomes, yet the literature rarely intersects these two fields. There is an obvious need for greater dialogue between members of these two groups. The pioneers in the field of hypermedia were clearly espousing a constructivist approach to the development and design of interactive multimedia, yet make no mention of the pedagogical implications of their work. O n the other hand, instructional designers make little or no mention of these early hypermedia pioneers. It is as if the two disciplines were on a convergent path that met in the early 1990's. Therefore, we would be better served if human-computer interface designers were more informed by pedagogical theory, while at the same time instructional designers need to be more conversant wi th interface design issues. 48 LITERATURE CITED Basiel, A., A. Murphy, M . Jones, and T. Russell. 1997. An investigation in evaluating web-based tutorials. Proceedings of Ed-Media '97, Association for the Advancement of Computers in Education, Charlottesville, Virginia. Available at: http: / /aace.org/conf/ edmedia/default.htm Bootstrap Institute. 1994. Available at: http://www.bootstrap.org/dce-bio.html. Bruner, J. 1996. The culture of education. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Bush, V. 1945. As we may think. Atlantic Monthly 176(1): 101-108. Availabale at: http: / /www.theatlantic.com/unbound/flashbks/computer/bushf.htm Cotton, B. and R. Oliver. 1993. Understanding hypermedia. Phaidon Press Ltd., London. Cotton, B. and R. Oliver. 1994. The cyberspace lexicon. Phaidon Press Ltd., London. Emboden, W. 1979. Narcotic plants. Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., New York. Engelbart, D. C. 1962. Augmenting human intellect: a conceptual framework. Stanford Research Institute, Menlo Park, California. Available at: http: / /www.histech.rwth-aachen.de/www/quellen/engelbart/ahi62index.html Geissman, J. A. and D. H. G. Crout. 1969. Organic chemistry of secondary plant metabolism. Freeman, Cooper and Co., San Francisco. Green, K. C. and S. W. Gilbert. 1995. Great expectations: content, communications, productivity, and the role of information technology in higher education. Change, March / April 1995, pp. 8-18. Harborne, J. B. 1993. Ecological Biochemistry, 4th ed. Academic Press, London. Harper, B., J. Hedberg, R. Wright and R. Corderoy. 1996. Using cognitive tools in interactive multimedia, http://www. auc.edu.au Haykin, R. Editor.1994. Multimedia demystified. Apple Computer, Inc., Random House Electronic Publishing, New York. Herrington, J. and P. Standen. 1999. Moving from an intructivist to a constructivist multimedia learning environment. Proceedings of Ed-Media '99, Association for the Advancement of Computers in Education, Charlottesville, Virginia. Available at: http: / / aace.org/conf/ edmedia/default.htm 49 Hoepfl, M . C. 1997. Choosing qualitative research: a primer for technology education researchers. Journal of Technology Education 9(1): Fall 1997. Available at: ht tp: / /scholar . l ib .vt .edu/ejournals/JTE/v9nl/hoepfl .html Kay, A . 1990. User interface: a personal view. In: B. Laurel (Ed.), The art of human-computer interface design. Apple Computer Inc., Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Menlo Park, California, pp. 191-207. Kennedy, A.J . 1998. Rough guide to the internet. Rough Guides Ltd. , N e w York. Kle in , R. M . 1987. The green world . Second edition. Harper and Row, N e w York. Krieger, J. B., C. Reeves, D. DiBiase, and J. Cupp. 1997. Mult imedia in geographic education. Journal of Geography in Higher Education 21(1): 17-39. Landow, G.P. 1997. Hypertext 2.0. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland. Laurel, B. 1993. Computers as theatre. Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., Menlo Park, California. Laurel, B. Editor. 1990. The art of human-computer interface design. Apple Computer Inc., Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Menlo Park, California. Levy, S. 1984. Hackers: heroes of the computer revolution. Bantam Doubleday Del l Publishing Group, Inc., N e w York. Levy, S. 1994. Insanely great: the life and times of Macintosh, the computer that changed everything. V ik ing Penguin, N e w York. Lynch, P. J. 1994. Visual design for the user interface; part 1: design fundamentals. Journal of Biocommunications 21(1): 22-30. Lynch, P. J., and S. Horton. 1997. H T M L vs. authoring tols for creating C D - R O M S . Syllabus 11(2): 16-20, 43. Available at: http:/ /www.syllabus.com. Makedon, F., S. A . Rabelsky, M . Cheyney, C. Owen and P. Gloor. 1994. Issues and obstacles wi th multimedia authoring. Proceedings of Ed-Media '94, Association for the Advancement of Computers in Education, Charlottesville, Virginia . Mann , J. 1987. Secondary metabolism. Second edition. Oxford University Press, Oxford. Mann, J. 1994. Chemical aspects of biosynthesis. Oxford University Press, Oxford. M c M i l l a n , V . E . 1997. Wri t ing papers in the biological sciences. Second edition. Bedford Books, Boston. 50 Milrad, M . 1999. Designing an interactive learning environment to support children's understanding in complex domains. Proceedings of Ed-Media '99, Association for the Advancement of Computers in Education, Charlottesville, Virginia. Available at: http://aace.org/conf/edmedia/default.htm Nelson, T. 1987. Literary machines. Self-published, Ted Nelson Studios. Nelson, T. 1990. The right way to think about software design. In: B. Laurel (Ed.), The art of human-computer interface design. Apple Computer Inc., Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Menlo Park, California, pp. 235-243. Nielsen, J. 1995. Multimedia and hypertext: the internet and beyond. Academic Press, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts. Pable, J. B. 1995. Architectural and interior design computer multimedia applications: issues and common procedures in the incorporation of video sequences. The Journal of Computer-Aided Environmental Design and Education 1(1): Fall 1995. Available at: http://borg.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/JCAEDE/vlnl/fall95/article2.html Postman, N. 1984. Amusing ourselves to death. Penguin Books, New York. Reeves, T. C. 1992. Evaluating interactive multimedia. Educational Technology, May 1992: 47-52. Reeves, T. C. 1999. A research agenda for interactive learning in the new millenium. Proceedings of Ed-Media '9, Association for the Advancement of Computers in Education, Charlottesville, Virginia. Available at: http://aace.org/conf/ edmedia/default.htm Roszak, T. 1994. The cult of information. Second edition. University of California Press, Berkeley, California. Sachs, L. 1984. Applied statistics: a handbook of techniques. Second edition. Springer-Verlag, New York. Shneiderman, B. 1993. Education by engagement and construction: experiences in the AT&T teaching theater. Proceedings of Ed-Media '93, Association for the Advancement of Computers in Education, Charlottesville, Virginia. Available at: http: / /aace.org/conf/edmedia/default.htm Stern, J. and R. Lattieri, 1998. QuickTime and movieplayer pro. Peachpit Press, Berkeley, CA. Stoll, C. 1995. Silicon snake oil: second thoughts on the information highway. Doubleday, New York. 51 Taylor, R. 1990. Educational opportunities at the Chelsea Physic Garden. Journal of Biological Education 24(1): 7-11. Wilson, B. G. 1997a. Reflections on constructivism and intstructional design, in C R . Dills, and A. A. Romiszowski (Eds.) Instructional development paradigms. Educational Technology Publications., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. Available at: http://www.cudenver.edu/~bwilson Wilson, B.G. 1997b. Understanding the design and use of learning technologies. Paper presented at Association for Educational Communications and Technology, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Available at: http://www.cudenver.edu/~bwilson. Yildiz, R. and M . Atkins. 1993. Evaluating multimedia applications. Computers in Education 21(1/2): 133-139. Vaughn, T. 1993. Multimedia: making it work. Osborne McGraw-Hill, Berkeley, CA. 52 Appendix I. Add i t iona l references. Apple Computer, Inc. 1992. Macintosh human interface guidelines. Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Menlo Park, California. Arnold, W. N. 1988. Vincent van Gough and the thujone connection. Journal of the American Medical Association 260(20): 3042-3044. Arnold, W. N. 1989. Absinthe. Scientific American 260: 112-117. Arnold, W. N., T. P. Dalton, L. S. Loftus and P. A. Conan. 1991. A search for santonin in Artemesia pontica, the other wormwood of old absinthe. Journal of Chemical Education 68(1): 27-28. Barker, P. and T. King. 1993. Evaluating multimedia courseware-a methodology. Computers in Education 21(4):307-319. Blin, F. and D. Wilson. 1994. The Use of pre-test in CALL: a case study. Computers in Education 23(1/2): 143-150. Brouillard, R. 1981. Origin of the exceptional colour stability of the Zebrina anthocyanin. Phytochemistry 20: 143-145. Brouillard, R. 1983. The in vivo expression of anthocyanin colour in plants. Phytochemistry 22(6): 1311-1323. Conrad, B. 1988. Absinthe: history in a bottle. Chronicle Books, San Francisco. Dangles, O., N. Saito and R. Brouillard. 1993. Anthocyanin intramolecular copigment effect. Phytochemistry 34(1): 119-124. DiNucci, D., M . Giudice and L. Stiles. 1997. Elements of web design. Peachpit Press, Berkeley, California. Griesbach, R. J. 1984. Effects of carotenoid-anthocyanin combinations on flower colour. Journal of Heredity. 75: 145-147. Harborne, J. B. 1986. The natural distribution in angiosperms of anthocyanins acylated with aliphatic dicarboxylic acids. Phytochemistry 25(8): 1887-1894. Harborne, J. B. 1964. Plant polyphenols-XI. The structure of acylated anthocyanins. Phytochemistry 3: 151-160. Harborne, J. B. 1984. Phytochemical methods: a guide to modern techniques of plant analysis. 2nd ed. Chapman and Hall, London. Harborne, J. B. and B. L. Turner. 1984. Plant chemosystematics. Academic Press, 53 London. Ino, I., H. Nishiyama and M . Yamaguchi. 1993. Malonylation of anthocyanins by extracts of flower buds in Dendranthema morifolium cultivars. Phytochemistry 32(6): 1425-1426. Jurd, L. and S. Asen. 1966. The formation of metal and "co-pigment" complexes of cyanidin-3-glucoside. Phytochemistry 5: 1263-1271. Koes, R. E., F. Quattrocchio and J. N. M . Moi. 1994 The flavonoid biosynthetic pathway in plants: function and evolution. BioEssays 16(2):123-132. Lewis, W. H . and M . P. F. Elvin-Lewis. 1977. Medical botany: plants affecting man's health. John Wiley and Sons, New York. Lynch, P. J. 1994. Visual design for the user interface; part 2: graphics in the interface. Journal of biocommunications 21(2): 6-15. Lynch, P. J. 1994. The evolving interface of instructional media. Syllabus 8(3): 48-50. Available at: http://www.syllabus.com. Lynch, P. J., and S. Horton. 1999. Web style guide. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT. Mann, J. 1987. Secondary metabolism. Second edition. Oxford University Press, Oxford. Mann, J. 1994. Chemical aspects of biosynthesis. Oxford University Press, Oxford. Mazza, G. and R. Brouillard 1990. The mechanism of co-pigmentation of anthocyanins in aqueous solutions. Phytochemistry 29(4): 1097-1102. New Scientist. 1999. Technofile: the scent of music. New Scientist 162(2187): 15. Noble, R. L. 1990. The discovery of the vinca alkaloids-chemotherapeutic agents against cancer. Biochem. Cell Biol. 68: 1344-1351. Oppenheimer, T. 1997. The computer delusion. Atlantic Monthly 280(1): 45-62. Available at: http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/97jul/computer.htm Overman, R. S., M . A. Stahmann, C. F. Huebner, W. R. Sullivan, L. Spero, D. G. Doherty, M . Ikawa, L. Graf, S. Roseman and K. P. Link. 1944. Studies on the hemorrhagic sweet clover disease. XIII. anticoagulatory activity and structure in the 4-hydroxycoumarin group. Journal of Biological Chemistry 153(1): 5-24. Roberts, W. L. and K. P. Link. 1937. A precise method for the determination of coumarin, melilotic acid, and coumaric acid in plant tissue. Journal of Biological 54 Chemistry 119: 269-281. Robinson, G. M. 1939. Notes on variable colors of flower petals. Journal of the American Chemical Society 61: 1606-07. Roszak, T. 1996. Dumbing us down. New Internationalist 286: 12-14. Stafford, H. A. 1994. Anthocyanins and betalains: evolution of the mutually exclusive pathways. Plant Science 101: 91-98. Takeda, K., M. Kariuda and H . Itoi. 1985b. Blueing of sepal colour of Hydrangea macrophylla. Phytochemistry 24(10): 2251-2254. Takeda, K., R. Kubota and C. Yagioka, 1985a. Copigments in the blueing of sepal colour of Hydrangea macrophylla . Phytochemistry 24(6): 1207-1209. Takeda, K., T. Yamashita, A. Takahashi and C. F. Timbberlake. 1990. Stable blue complexes of anthocyanin-aluminum-3-p -coumaroyl or 3-caffeoylquinic acid involved in the blueing of Hydrangea flowers. Phytochemistry 29(4): 1089-1091. 55 Appendix II. T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Department of Plant Science Suite 248 - 2357 Main Man Vancouver. B.C. Canada VST tZ4 Tel: (604) 822-4384 Fax: (604) 822-8640 I am looking for 24 students to participate in an evaluation of an interactive multimedia application designed to teach plant biochemistry. This study is part of an M.Sc. thesis. Volunteers are being asked to spend a total of two and 1/2 hours. The first 1/2 hour w i l l consist of a short written test in order to assess their understanding of plant secondary metabolism. Six week later participants w i l l be asked to spend one and 1/2 hours working through the program followed by another short test of 1/2 hour duration. The results of the tests w i l l be kept strictly confidential and the investigators w i l l only be able to identify participants' results by a code-number. If you agree to participate in this study you w i l l be offered a pair of movie passes. If you are interested in participating in this study please return this form to Mike Looney in the biology lab, or to Keith Ellis. Please indicate the most convenient time(s) for you. N a m e [^[Tuesday morning 10-12 | [ Tuesday afternoon 2-4 [ ^ W e d n e s d a y morning 10-12 Your participation w i l l be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Michael Looney 56 Appendix IV . Sample pre- and post-tests Compound C l a s s Biosynthetic Origin Known or suspected funct ion CH 3 f ^ ~ C H 3 CH 3 Compound C l a s s Biosynthetic Origin Known or suspected funct ion Compound C l a s s Biosynthetic Origin Known or suspected funct ion HO OH Y O ^ ^ O H Compound \^OH 2CH 2CH 3 H H C l a s s Biosynthetic Origin Known or suspected funct ion 59 Appendix IV. Sample p re- and post-tests Compound H v C l a s s Biosynthetic Origin Known or suspected funct ion r 1 H O * * * J C O O H 0 Compound C l a s s Biosynthetic Origin Known or suspected funct ion Compound H O . . O H O H O H C l a s s Biosynthetic Origin Known or suspected funct ion Compound C l a s s Biosynthetic Origin Known or suspected funct ion 60 Appendix V . Questionnaire Please answer the fol lowing questions i n as much detail as you can. Feel free to expand on any of your answers. 1. Define secondary metabolism. 2. D i d this application have any relevance to what you've studied in organic chemistry and/or biochemistry? If so, in what way? Can you give an example? 3. Are there any reaction mechanisms which you've studied in organic chemistry that you saw here? If so, which ones and where? 4. After completing this program, do you feel you now have a better understanding of the relationship between primary and secondary metabolism? 5. D i d you find the program interesting? If so, can you give me an example? 6. D i d you find the program challenging? If so, can you give me an example of what challenged you? 7. Would you want to use the program again? If not, why not? 8. D i d you find the treatment of the subject too superficial, too detailed, or at the right level? 9. W i l l you follow your use of the program up wi th some reading on this topic? If not, why not? 10. W o u l d you want to take a full course on this subject? W h y or why not? 11. D i d you find it easy to navigate the application? What features d id you particularly like or dislike? 12. D i d you know where you were in the application at all times? If not, what d id you do to get back on track? 13. D i d the links make logical connections between topics? 14. D i d you choose your own path through the application, follow the application in a linear sequence, or select topics at random? Why? 61 15. D i d the navigation restrict you from charting your own path? If so, can you give me an example of how it was restricting? 16. D i d you use the " H E L P " screen? If so d id it tell you what you needed to know? 17. Were the animations (movies) easy to follow? 18. Wou ld a voice-over enhance your ability to follow the movies, keeping in mind that this wou ld slow download times? Would the voice over be enough of an advantage to offset the slower downloading times? 19. Were the graphics clear and easy to understand? Which graphics seemed to be the clearest? Which graphics could be improved? How? 20. Was there too much or too little text? Can you suggest a place where there was too much text? Too little text? 21. Was there enough detail or not enough? Where should the detail be increased? Decreased? 22. If you tried the online quiz d id you find that it reinforced any of the concepts? 23. Feel free to add any additional comments/criticisms: 62 Appendix V I . See attached C D - R O M or the following U R L : http://www.interchange.ubc.ca/looney/pchi 

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
https://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.831.1-0099400/manifest

Comment

Related Items