420A PB 135 A COMPARISON OF INTERACTIVE MULTIMEDIA INSTRUCTION WITH TRADITIONAL INSTRUCTION IN POST-SECONDARY PLANT MATERIALS COURSES

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, University of Illinois, Urbana, Il. 61801

An integrated teaching system was developed to enhance retention of course material covered in a woody landscape plants identification course. A Toolbook-based software program which incorporates high quality digital images and text in an interactive computer environment was tested on groups of randomly selected plant materials students. The objectives of the project were to: increase use of visual study techniques, facilitate individualized instruction, increase student access to information that is often not available in the classroom or from standard references, and enhance retention of course material. In alternating 4-week periods of time, one half of the students in the class had password access to the software. All students continued to receive traditional lecture and laboratory presentations of the material. This study was conducted with a pretest-posttest control group experimental design. Students' written test scores, performance on identification exams and student opinions were compared between the two groups.

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