By Marie-Christine Lefebvre, Lecturer in Communications.
My colleague Nathalie is a teacher at a horticultural and landscape gardening training college. On her courses, outdoor study is just as important as classroom-based learning. Plant observation is one of the most important skills her students have to develop: observing, comparing, recording changes and differences, reproducing and putting them together.
Since then, classwork has been enriched and is more productive:
Hand out of OXFORD Campus notebooks to students
Each student keeps their notebook for the academic year. Advantages: it has a hard board back to lean on, a wipeable front card cover and SCRIBZEE® compatibility for scanning their notes.
Outdoor observational fieldwork
The course focuses on plant shapes and varieties. Students learn to recognise each plant according to the shape of its leaves and flowers, and to memorise them with drawings made on sketch pads. The students are often required to draw these plants at a later date.
Recording with SCRIBZEE®
Students “record” their drawings and annotations using SCRIBZEE® and are able to archive their pieces of work in a folder. Advantage: When a topic folder is created, each drawing serves as a visual image which they can relate to their handwritten notes. A personal digital herbarium!
Sharing and projecting work
The files of sketches can be exported in PDF format and then sent to my colleague Nathalie, so she can project them onto the whiteboard and comment on them. Every drawing can be reviewed in this way. The best drawings can even be used to create a shared digital library!
Back to fieldwork
From week to week, plant growth is observed and changes are recorded. Exporting these sketches in PDF format means a montage of all the drawings done over a given period of time can be put together. Recording in this way is a much better than just taking photos!