Developed by the University of Leeds, the Plant Science TREE is an online teaching tool giving access to downloadable lecture slides, on-line lectures, practicals, movies and other material on topical plant science to support lecturers in their teaching.
The TREE – funded in its development phase by Gatsby - aims to bring inspirational plant science teaching material together in a one-stop, easy to use web medium. The tool was developed by listening to the needs of lecturers and involving them in its construction. Research-active teaching academics shared and reviewed their lecture slides and built the TREE structure for their respective subjects.
The TREE currently has over 80 contributors and includes around 1,600 lecture slides and 80 movies and animations. There are currently 35 online lectures available in an easy-to-use form that shows the speaker, their slides and a capacity to select parts of the lecture. The TREE also offers a Plant News RSS feed and search facility, linking articles, podcasts and videos from leading journals and the media. Where a lecture slide is derived from a research paper it is linked to the original source for reference and all content which is available for download has been copyright cleared for educational use.
Usage has grown steadily since the launch of the site in 2010, with over 1000 registered users, including many from beyond the UK, and an average of almost 50,000 hits per month in 2012.