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Virginia I. Lohr

instructional multimedia use in nursery management and production courses in the United States HortTechnology 20 3 646 651

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Nadilia Gómez

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Marci Spaw*, Kimberly A. Williams, and Laura A. Brannon

This study compared student learning outcomes of two teaching methodologies: a summary lecture and an asynchronous web-based method that included a case study ( followed by an all-class discussion. Twenty-one students taking an upper-level undergraduate course in greenhouse management were randomly split into two groups. Each group experienced both methodologies with presentations designed to provide complimentary information about site planning for protected environment structures; however, the order in which the groups received the methods was reversed. After each presentation, the participants were given an identical quiz (Time 1 and Time 2) comprised of questions that assessed knowledge gained, higher-order learning, and their perception of how confident they would be in solving actual site planning scenarios. Though quiz scores were not different between the two groups after Time 1 or 2, overall quiz scores improved after Time 2 for both groups combined (P = 0.03). When questions were categorized as lower-order vs. higher-order learning, a greater increase in scores was observed in higher-order learning (P = 0.12 vs. P = 0.04, respectively). Although students' perceived confidence was not influenced by which method was received first (P = 0.23), their confidence increased after Time 2 compared to Time 1 (P = 0.07). Rather than one teaching method being superior to the other, this study suggests that it is beneficial to use both. Interestingly, while students overwhelmingly preferred to receive the summary lecture before the web-based method, there was no significant difference in test scores between the two orders, suggesting that neither order offered any advantage.

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Chris A. Martin and Jean C. Stutz

A distance learning course called Southwest Home Horticulture was developed and implemented at Arizona State University using video and Internet technologies to give nonhorticulture students an overview of urban horticulture in the southwestern United States. Fourteen, one-half-hour video programs about topics in southwestern residential landscaping, plants materials and landscape best-management practices were produced in ≈800 working hours. The video programs are now telecast weekly, each academic semester, on the regional public television station and the educational channel of several cable television systems. We found that students who enrolled in the course were most likely to tape the programs on a video cassette recorder and watch them at their own convenience, one to three times. A World Wide Web (Web) site on the Internet was developed as a supplement to the video programs. The Web site was organized into a modular format giving students quick access to auxiliary course-related information and helpful resources. When asked, ≈90% of the students indicated that the Web site was a helpful supplement to the video programs. Use of video and Internet technologies in tandem has enabled nonhorticulture major students to learn about home horticulture in an asynchronous or location and time independent fashion.

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Amy N. Campbell, T.M. Waliczek, J.C. Bradley, J.M. Zajicek, and C.D. Townsend

As human pressures on the environment increase and as conflicting demands on education become focused, schools have a greater responsibility to educate children to care for their environment. Results from this study demonstrated that students who were involved in the actual propagation and restoration of ecosystems, and who had positive experiences in doing so, were more likely to have positive environmental attitudes.