The Bioscience Education Network (BEN) Digital Library Portal and Collaborative

Meeting Abstract

P3.119  Tuesday, Jan. 6  The Bioscience Education Network (BEN) Digital Library Portal and Collaborative WONG, G.K.*; CHABOT, C.C.; Quinnipiac University; Plymouth State University

The Internet provides ready access to a large volume of material that can be used for teaching purposes. Digital libraries in particular offer a vast repository of easily accessible resources for use by teachers at all audience levels. However, in searching for specific learning items, it is often difficult to separate the "wheat from the chaff" and find accurate and useful information and techniques for the classroom or laboratory. In the biological sciences, the Bioscience Education Network (BEN) portal provides easily searchable access to digital libraries maintained by more than 25 different professional organizations (including SICB). This peer-reviewed content includes images, animations, and activities that have been tested in the laboratory or classroom and been found to be effective in helping students to understand important biological principles. While over 11,000 peer-reviewed resources covering 77 biological sciences topics are available, the BEN portal allows the user to easily narrow down the content using not only the typical search attributes such as keywords or title, but also by discipline (subject), pedagogical use, resource type, audience (education levels), author, or author institution. Organization members of the BEN Collaborative also accept materials for inclusion in the digital library through a peer-review process. The BEN Collaborative was established in 1999 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) with 11 other professional societies and coalitions. In 2005, the BEN Collaborative was selected as the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) Pathway for Biological Sciences education. An overview of the BEN portal and its advantages in preparing course materials will be illustrated in this poster session.

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