Teaching grafting techniques like T-budding is challenging because learners must pay close attention to detail, observing closeups of plant structures and following specific sequences, and such attention to detail is difficult to achieve in large enrollment classes. The objective of this study was to compare the effectiveness of an instructional video vs. traditional face-to-face demonstrations to teach T-budding. A 10-minute instructional video demonstrating the steps necessary for T-budding was developed in 2001. For three consecutive years (2001, 2002, and 2003) the two methods were compared by having students see a video or receive a face-to-face demonstration, asking them to graft three buds to a root-stock and then complete a survey. Ninety students were taught T-budding with the aid of the video, and 80 students received traditional, face-to-face demos. In the survey, students were asked to evaluate the clarity of the T-budding instructions, rate the amount of help they needed from the instructor, assess the level of difficulty of T-budding, and answer two questions that tested their conceptual knowledge of T-budding. There was no difference between the two groups in the amount of time it took for students to complete the assignment and in terms of the perceived level of difficulty of the assignment. Students reported that the clarity of the face-to-face demonstrations was better than that of the video presentation, but students who saw the video obtained higher scores in the quiz than those who received a face-to-face demonstration.
Virginia I. Lohr
instructional multimedia use in nursery management and production courses in the United States HortTechnology 20 3 646 651
Dan T. Stearns
To strengthen students' ability to solve landscape problems creatively while working in group settings, faculty members in the landscape contracting program at The Pennsylvania State Univ. incorporated experiential learning through the construction of on-campus landscape projects between 1992 and 1994. Collaborative student groups developed landscape plans and built the projects. Partnering with other university units resulted in benefits essential to completion of the projects. Student evaluations were shared between the instructor and the students. The success of these projects has led to plarming future experiential projects.
Michael N. Dana
Interest in native plant species for general landscape planting, mitigation of environmental impact and ecological restoration plantings continues to expand with public awareness of environmental quality. An expanding area of opportunity exists for the landscape horticulture industry to supply non-traditional plant materials to support landscape planting with native species. To capitalize on the opportunity, horticulture and landscape architecture students and practitioners must become knowledgeable of species native to their region. Video is a useful medium for increasing such knowledge. This presentation will review the development, production, distribution and content of six video programs that survey the native herbaceous flora of Indiana prairies and woodlands. Each program is less than 30 minutes in length, to facilitate classroom use and presentation in broadcast formats. Botanically correct nomenclature is presented graphically as each species is introduced. The narration includes botanical, ecological and horticultural information, but emphasizes plant lore to increase interest for general audiences and provide memory clues for those attempting to learn the plants. This project, supported by the Indiana Association of Nurserymen, provides a good example of how horticultural industries can become leaders as the public expands its demand for improved environmental quality.
Mark Zampardo, Gary Kling, and Christopher Lindsey
An integrated teaching system was developed and tested on students enrolled in a woody landscape plants identification course. A Microsoft Windows-based system incorporates high-quality digital images and text in an interactive computer environment. The goal of the software program was to enhance retention of course material through the use of many images along with accompanying text and a variety of special features. In alternating 4-week periods, one-half of the students in class were randomly selected and given password access to the software. The other half served as a control group. All students continued to receive traditional lecture and laboratory presentations of the material, including weekly slide coverage of each plant. The exams incorporated material from lectures and labs and included slide images from which students were to identify the plant taxa. The study took into account time on the computer and test scores. Results showed that increased time on the computer was positively correlated with increased test scores. Student performance on the slide portions of the exams were consistently higher for computer users than control groups.
James McConnell and Maria I.D. Pangelinan
Print-on-demand (POD) publications are being produced from computer to printer to increase the diversity of printed extension and educational materials. The layouts are stored in libraries on the computer and text files and digital images are added to the layouts. Images can be edited before insertion into the layouts to enhance the image. The completed materials are stored in portable document format (PDF) on disk and are printed as needed or distributed over computer networks. Printing materials as needed greatly increases the diversity of materials and gives greater flexibility in revising publications than bulk printing.
Options for acquiring digital images are explored. Photo CDs, scanned images, and video capture are the most common sources of images. Photo CDs produce the highest-quality images, but require more time to get the digitized images due to commercial processing. For Photo CDs, the images are photographed with a 35-mm camera and sent for processing and digitizing. Slide and flat bed scanning is time consuming when working with bulk quantities of images. With live video capture, a video camera is directly connected to a computer and images are digitized in real time. Tape-recorded images can be also be used, but the image quality is less than live video. VWeb server allows rapid dissemination of the materials. This procedure greatly reduces the production time to a finished product, gives flexibility in revising publications and allows a greater variety of materials to be produced.
Christopher Lindsey, Gary Kling, and Mark Zampardo
UIPLANTS is a program developed under Microsoft Windows to help students in woody plant materials courses. Its many options include an encyclopedic format that displays 256-color high-resolution images of plant identification characteristics and ornamental features coupled with text, side by side image comparisons, “book markers” to return to selected screens, and a slide show that runs a display of images in a user-defined format. The system is being used to study how students learn information presented to them through computers and which program features are most effective in improving plant knowledge. Through computer logging of all student activity within the program and surveys given to the test groups, some basic usage patterns were derived. Students using the program with no incentive tended to use the program in a more comprehensive manner, switching back and forth between the slide show and encyclopedic entries with equal time spent in each. The comparison and “bookmark” features were used but less frequently. Half of the students, given an extra credit incentive based on time, followed this same usage pattern, but the other half simply used the slide show with minimal student–computer interaction.
James McConnell and L. Robert Barber
A Print-on-Demand (POD) System was developed to expand the availability of printed extension and educational materials. The layouts are developed on a computer using text files and digital images. Images can be edited with graphics programs before insertion into the layouts. The completed materials are stored, in final format, on disk and are printed on an as-needed basis or distributed over computer networks. The system greatly reduces the production time to a finished product and gives great flexibility in revising publications. The basic POD system consists of a computer, a mass storage device, and a printer. Photo CDs and video capture are the most common sources of digital images. Photo CDs produce higher-quality images but require more time to get the digitized images due to commercial processing. For Photo CDs, the images are photographed with a 35-mm camera and sent for processing and digitizing. With live video capture, a video camera is connected directly to a computer and images are digitized in real time. Tape recorded images also can be used, but the image quality is less than live video. Video images are digitized at 72 pixels per inch (ppi), and Photo CD images are available at >3000 ppi. Video images are best digitized at twice their desired size and reduced to final size when increasing the resolution.