Video and Photography Assignments from Field Trips Build Communication and Teamwork Skills

in HortScience
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  • 1 Dept. of Horticulture, Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN 47907

Employers of undergraduates tell us there is a need to turn out students with greater communication and teamwork skills in addition to good horticultural and business training. Field trips are an important tool to expose students to the real world of horticulture. The course “Nursery Crop Production” has adopted a class project that enhances these skills and experiences. Teams of three students each are assigned a production nursery to visit and to bring back documentation to the class in the form of an edited video tape and a written report containing pictures. Their report is presented in class and each student receives a composite video tape and written report of all team efforts. Quality of the reports has been remarkable. Each part of the project (video, written report, and class presentation) is graded independently, with all team members receiving the same final grade. The department has purchased video cameras and editing equipment, which are essential to the success of this educational experience. Student evaluations indicate enthusiasm for this approach and the role of video in the class. Copies of finished projects are returned to each nursery for their information. A collection of these projects is being assembled to provide the Nursery and Landscape Crops Extension Specialist with additional information about the production nursery industry.

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