Chip Taylor Communications



Subject: Science: Natural & Physical

Natural and Physical Science Series - Level 2

This series of programs focuses on advanced levels of Natural Science and Physical Science areas of study, including Archaeology, Biology, Geology and Physics. Programs available on 12 or 13 individual DVDs, Digital Streaming Files or Videos; also in an 12-Disc Set. For pricing call in US: 800.876.2447/Intl. 603.434.9262 Click for more

How to Use a Dichotomous Key

How to Use a Dichotomous Key

"Highly Recommended. Classification systems used to identify specific plants or animals, to diagnose medical conditions, or to trouble shoot computer malfunctions are all examples of dichotomous keys. The chapter points of the DVD allows viewers to go through each example; also it includes a thorough glossary of descriptive terms to compliment the key." -NAMTC/NMM Review
In an effort to understand the environment, humans have sought to identify patterns in nature and to develop systematic methods for labeling and identifying objects they encounter. One of the earliest techniques was to categorize items according to bipolar distinctions, such as hot and cold, hard and soft, or black and white. Combining a series of such opposing characteristics results in a methodology known as a dichotomous key. Classification systems used to identify specific plants or animals, diagnose medical conditions, or trouble-shoot computer malfunctions are examples of dichotomous keys. Each dichotomous key is essentially a series of branches or intersections, where choices are made between successive alternatives, eventually resulting in the isolation and identification of a single object. Viewers see how the best dichotomous keys address differences among objects in terms of shape, size, number and location of parts, texture, function, flexibility, color, weight, smell, hardness, and sound. They learn the differences among the three types of dichotomous keys: flow charts, straight outlines, and split outlines, as well as the importance of a thorough glossary of descriptive terms to complement the key. Viewers leave this program no longer overwhelmed by seemingly complex diagnostic or classification systems, having gained an understanding of the inherent simplicity of the dichotomous key. Produced by Eric Stavney. 03/07DE IJSC 10 min.





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