Virtual Field Trips for Improving Undergraduate Education in Greenhouse Management

in HortScience
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  • 1 1University of Arkansas, Department of Horticulture, Fayetteville, AR, 72701
  • 2 2Oklahoma State University, Department of Horticulture
  • 3 3Louisiana State University, Department of Horticulture
  • 4 4Mississippi State University, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences

Economics and logistics have greatly reduced or eliminated the ability of horticulture instructors to use field trips or on-site visits as educational tools. This is especially problematic in the field of greenhouse management and controlled environment agriculture, since the facilities and technologies used are essential to the discipline. To address this problem, we developed 15 DVD-based virtual field trips (VFT's) that instructors may use to demonstrate to students the most up-to-date facilities, technologies, and management strategies used in greenhouse management (ornamental and food crops) and controlled environment agriculture (GCEA). Each VFT included a preface with background information about the company, a tour organized by subject chapters, self-examination, and a teacher's guide with additional information and case studies. Each land-grant institution with an instructional program in greenhouse management of controlled-environment agriculture will be provided a free copy of each VFT, which will benefit all instructors of GCEA in the United States.

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