Animal Diversity CD

Animal Diversity CD ROM CoverWe have developed a unique CD to support the Animal Diversity module.  All final year zoology students are given a free copy of the CD to help prepare them for their practical exams and to support their coursework.

The CD is comprised of four main sections (Figure 1), which are each designed to provide a different type of learning support. For example, the guide to the taxonomy of the animal kingdom, called the ‘Taxonomy Explorer’, is a supportive hypermedia resource that supports learning throughout the module, while the guide to the Cole Museum and the searchable catalogue of the Cole Zoological Collection are resources that support the students when preparing their exhibit design and when studying for the examination. The formative learning quizzes in the ‘Quiz Centre’ section are engaging and provide students with immediate and detailed feedback to enhance their learning and retention of taxonomic principles.

Figure 1: Schematic showing the overall structure of the Animal Diversity CD:Animal Diversity CD ROM Structural Design


Taxonomy Explorer

Animal Diversity CD ROM Taxonomy ExplorerArguably the most educationally rich resource on the CD is the hypertext guide to the taxonomy of the animal kingdom, which is called the ‘Taxonomy Explorer’ (Figure 2). This has been designed in close accordance with the latest navigational and presentation principles and includes design features to enhance student engagement with the material, while preventing cognitive overload and providing enough instructional support to ensure all learners can use the resource effectively. The structural design of the Taxonomy Explorer section is based on a tree metaphor, which is highly applicable to both multimedia design and the general principles of taxonomy. This approach to design ensures that students are always aware of their position within the section and are able to visualise their position within the taxonomic tree of the animal kingdom. This design feature should greatly enhance the students’ understanding of taxonomic principles and conceptualisation of animal taxonomy.

More information

This was a collaborative project between the University's Division of Environmental Biology and the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning in Applied Undergraduate Research Skills (CETL-AURS) to create an interactive CD that serves as an integral learning resource for the Animal Diversity module. If you would like to obtain a copy of the CD or would like to use it for your students then please contact the Curator of the Cole Museum Dr Amanda Callaghan.

For more information on CETL please visit the CETL website.

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