28. May 2018 · DBG · Promoting young researchers

Linda Titkemeier (Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg)

Linda Titkemeier's Master thesis was awarded with the Prize for the Best Plant Science Master Thesis, which was carried out at Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg in the year 2017

Title of awarded thesis

"Development of suitable supports for plant specification courses.
A research on German High School and college students to determine their knowledge of native plants, their diversity and growth."

This research is the first to compare the knowledge of Biology college students before and after taking part in a plant specification course and the first to take a focus on how to further improve study supports.

Studies show that just a few people in Germany have sufficient knowledge of plants. In view of this development, a study based on questionnaires investigated the difference in knowledge between High School students and Biology college students (after participating in a plant specification course). Furthermore, the college students got the chance to comment the available learning aids as well as possible future ones.

The evaluation shows that High School students know some basics about plants, but aren’t able to name more than a few native plants. They also have difficulty in describing the structure of plants and organizing them based on the evolution. Biology college students have a better understanding about the structure of floral plants and can name more native individuals. The research also shows that college students try to organize plants based on their evolution. Still there are many aspects where Biology students need some help in strengthening their abilities of identifying plants.

These results indicate the need for new and improved study supports. Therefore this study ends with an extensive recommendation on possible implementations of study supports in botanic gardens. Still there are a lot of reasons to check on the college students knowledge again to further improve the study supports.

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This study was written for the institute for Biology and Environmental Sciences at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg in the research group of Prof. Dr. Dirk Carl Albach for biodiversity and evolution of plants.