Horticultural Problem-solving Using Interactive Compressed Video

in HortScience

Interest in horticulture in Wyoming increases each year. The vast size of the state, coupled with its low population, make travel to individual sites around the state difficult. Distance education and communication are keys to a successful horticulture Extension education program. Every summer since 2000, the University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service has sponsored a series of horticulture question and answer sessions. These sessions are carried out using the Wyoming compressed video system, linking campus-based specialists with Extension educators, Master Gardeners, industry, and occasionally the public, around the state. The number of sites linked with campus has varied from six to 11, depending on the year. The number of sessions held each summer has also varied, from the current six to a high of nine in 2000. Each session is 50 minutes long. The objective of these sessions is to allow personnel off-campus to show samples, ask questions, and get assistance from campus-based specialists in diagnosing various plant problems. Evaluations are done annually to determine several things: if the programs should be run again the next year, which days of the week and time of the day are best, if attendees are utilizing the information learned in the sessions, and if they feel more comfortable with their own diagnoses after the sessions. Responses vary with year, but typically 100% say the programs should continue, and greater than 75% use the information they learn and are more comfortable with their responses and their abilities to solve plant problems.

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