British Columbia
Ministry of Forests
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Course guide


Organization of the course
Study hints
         Pre-reading questions
         Questions within the module
         Post-reading questions
How to read course materials
How each module is organized
         Learner outcomes
         Module closure
         Active learning

See also Appendix 4 — Learning strategies and
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Organization of the course   This course is divided into seven modules. They are:

Background for biodiversity

Maintaining stand level biodiversity

Stand level components for forest biodiversity — management strategies

Managing for biodiversity in commercial thinning

Operational planning — cutblock design

Managing for biodiversity at the stand level in silviculture practices

Managing for biodiversity and other objectives


Study hints


Here are some study hints that should assist you in either remembering what you already know or add to what you know.

Before beginning to read a module, it is often helpful to know what you are expected to be knowledgeable about after you have finished reading.

There are many ways to read material, for example,

  • Scanning — looking to see if the content is of interest, looking for specific information
  • Skimming — reading for main ideas (newspapers, new material)
  • Exploring ideas — reading to get a fairly accurate picture of the whole presentation of ideas
  • Study reading — reading for maximum understanding of the main ideas and their relationships (preparing for an examination, answering a set of questions-written or orally)
  • Critical reading — reading and then considering possible biases, inconsistent logic, false analogies, or faulty logic
  • Analytical reading — reading with a questioning mind, seeking complete clarification

Too often learners are asked to read some material but are not told how to read it, or what they should be looking for. Therefore, they read using the wrong approach, e.g., they scanned the material only to find out they needed to be critically reading. Now they have to reread the material.

In this course, you are provided with a list of pre-reading questions, questions throughout the module, and post-reading questions. It is suggested that you read the pre-reading questions before you begin to read.

The rationale for these three sets of questions is:







  1. Pre-reading questions — these questions will ask you to remember what you already know about the various topics that are covered in the module.

When you think about what you already know, you can modify it, change it, or add to it as you read the material.

You will likely remember more because you are scaffolding on (adding to) to what you already know. This is also part of active learning.

  1. Questions within the module — these questions will ask you to think about the content.

You may be asked to apply the ideas to the forest industry; think of other ideas; or agree or disagree with  what is presented. There may be other kinds of questions, too.

Once again, this is part of active learning. If you are actively learning, you will remember more and remember longer.






  1. Post-reading questions — these questions will be divided into four or five kinds of questions.
  1. Recall Recall questions may not be used in every module or module parts. When utilized, they likely will ask you to recall information by placing it in a graphic diagram (Ladder Diagram, Tree Diagram, Graphic Organizer)

  2. Application — You are asked to apply (or transfer) what you now know to your professional life and/or personal life.
  3. Reflections — You will be asked to reflect about what is in the content of the module.

    For example, you may be asked to think about how your attitudes are changed or modified, how this content is similar or different from what you knew before, what did you learn that is new, or what you still wonder about.
  4. Synectics — metaphors or analogies
    You are asked to take a familiar idea and compare it to an unfamiliar or less familiar idea.

    You are provided with two statements that ask you to compare the unknown to something you know about — e.g., a violin, a hot air balloon, or a typewriter.

    For example, how is a forest like a typewriter? How is a forest not like a typewriter? Regardless of the metaphor that is chosen for comparison, it is never perfect. That is why you are asked to think of how it is not a perfect metaphor.

    Synectics in this course is used to assist you in understanding the concepts better because you are starting from a familiar idea.

    They are fun, and more importantly, they will get you thinking in ways that lead you to new understandings about the topic.

  5. Self-assessment quiz — You are asked to answer a self-assessment test. It will assist you in determining if you have learned the material. Links to the answers are provided.


Reading the course materials


Look at how the course is organized before you begin. This will reduce your frustration and increase the rate at which you learn.   

If you are one of those learners who take the time to flip through a new textbook before you begin reading it, you will know the benefits of understanding how the text is organized and what extra features (glossary, tables, graphs, various kinds of appendixes) it has. The same applies to this course.

The time it takes to survey the course will alleviate possible dissatisfaction time later. For example, it is too late to discover where the glossary is when you have finished the course.

It is important to know how many modules there are, and how long they are. It is essential to know what the various titles are so that you can choose the order that you want to read them or choose which ones to skim.

Begin by surveying the course materials.

  • How many modules are there?

  • Are the modules divided into chunks that are short enough for a single learning timeframe?

  • What are their titles? In what order will you read them?

  • Is there a glossary? Where is it?

  • Where is the table of contents? What kind of information is in it? How many tables of contents are there? Where are they? Can you access them easily?

  • Are there diagrams and pictures? Are the diagrams large enough for easy viewing? If not, is there a way to enlarge them?

  • Are there some unique features in the course that may be of assistance to your learning process? If so, what are they?

Notice the following features in each module

  • Where the different headings are placed on the page. How will they aid you in understanding the organization of each module?

  • The figures, charts, and pictures within the modules. How will they assist you in your learning process?

  • The questions on the left side of the screen. What use are they to you? Will they keep your mind actively involved in your learning process?

  • The icons beside the questions. Do the icons alert you to the questions and the type of question?

  next Next: How each module is organized

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