PBL and Competency Based Education in Plant Biology

Janice M. Glime jmglime at mtu.edu
Thu Nov 18 13:34:21 EST 2004

These are not exactly case studies, but I designed this as my third test
in botany.  It covers the plant phyla part of the course, to which I took
an endangered species approach through the cryptogams.  The students had a
lot of fun with it, learned the importance of citing web sites, and I am
sure learned more that will be remembered than they would studying for a
test.  It took longer to grade, but it was more fun and some great games
and poems came out of it, as well as a fantastic song.

For this test you have a choice of any one question among the following
questions.  You may work in groups of no more than 3, or you may work
alone.  You will probably learn more if you work in a group, provided you
discuss all parts of the answer instead of simply dividing the work.  The
objective is for you to synthesize information and concepts and to apply
your knowledge in a practical way while developing your skills of
conveying information or convincing others.  You may use whatever
resources you can find.  However, do not use exact words or organization
from other sources and be sure to cite sources for all diagrams, pictures,
or wording used.  If you are unsure how to cite the scientific literature,
see the BL1010 lab manual in the BLC.  For the web site citations, you
must include the webmaster/author, date of last update (if known), name of
website, affiliation of the website, date you accessed it, and web
address.  The test is due on Friday, 9 April, at the beginning of class.
Please type/print it.

All questions must include the Marchantiophyta, Bryophyta, Lycopodiophyta,
Equisetophyta, Polypodiophyta, and Ginkgophyta
1.	Develop an evolutionary tree that includes Marchantiophyta,
Bryophyta, Lycopodiophyta, Equisetophyta, Polypodiophyta, and Ginkgophyta.
Draw a dendrogram (tree) to show what you would consider to be their
relative positions and defend your placement by discussing primitive and
advanced characters in each group relative to the others.
2.	Write a song or poem that teaches the advancing characters of each
of the phyla listed.
3.	Write a fictional story that conveys the life cycles and dispersal
mechanisms of the above phyla.
4.	You have just been named to represent the Nature Conservancy to
the state legislature.  Your task is to prepare a paper that presents the
need for conservation of plant species in Michigan, with guidelines for
developing a management strategy.  As part of this paper, you need to pose
questions and define research that needs to be done, and you must describe
several examples that illustrate the complexity of the species' life cycle
and interactions that should guide the management strategy.  You may make
recommendations if you wish, but your primary task is to educate.
5.	Choose a diminishing, rare, or endangered species or group of
species from each phylum above and discuss the characteristics of the
plant (morphological/physiological/ecological) that contribute to its
endangerment and discuss these.   Based on your examples, state one or
more hypotheses about characteristics of endangered species in general.
6.	A major factor in the advancement of plants has been water
transport throughout the plant.  Compare and contrast the structures and
locations involved in water movement in the plant phyla above.
7.	Prepare a brochure for use in the Upper Peninsula to educate
visitors at our various parks about our endangered, protected, or fragile
8.	Prepare a brochure to educate the public about each of the plant
phyla by telling them something of interest about one or more members of
each or of the whole group.  Be sure to tell them how to recognize the
examples you choose.
9.	Devise a question/project of your own to show your knowledge and
ability to apply it regarding the above phyla, get it approved by me, and
do it.

 Janice M. Glime, Professor
 Department of Biological Sciences
 Michigan Technological University
 Houghton, MI 49931-1295
 jmglime at mtu.edu
 FAX 906-487-3167


 Jonathan D. Monroe, Associate Professor
 Department of Biology, MSC 7801
 James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA 22807
 office: 540-568-6649, fax: 540-568-3333
 email: monroejd at jmu.edu

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