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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 (www.hightunnels.org/planningcasestudy.htm) 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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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.

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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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Christopher Lindsey, Gate Kline, and Mark Zampardo

An interactive computer-based system was designed to improve student plant identification skills and knowledge of ornamental, cultural, and usage information in a woody landscape plant materials course. The program is written for use under ToolBook, a Microsoft Windows based program, and incorporates 256-color high-resolution images and text into a single interactive computer program. Features include: a slideshow that allows students to select which genera and plant characteristics are to be viewed and in what order with the option of an interactive quiz, seeing the names immediately, or after a delay; side by side comparison of any image or text selection; and encyclopedic entries, all with a user-defined path and pace of study.

The system is being used to study how students learn the information presented to them via computer technology and which program features are most useful for improving identification skills and knowledge of other plant features. The computer tracks and logs all activity by students on the system for analysis.

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Laura A. Sanagorski and George E. Fitzpatrick

topics is being encouraged ( Smith and Motsenbocker, 2005 ). As an added benefit, these topics have been shown to facilitate the instruction of other subjects ( Dirks and Orvis, 2005 ; Nyenhuis, 1994 ), and can improve critical life skills in children

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Robert J. Joly and W.R. Woodson

Publication number 16,184 of the Purdue University Office of Agricultural Research Programs. Instructional laboratory development was supported by National Science Foundation DUE-9451170 to RJJ and WRW. The cost of publishing this paper

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David J. Beattie and Lawrence C. Ragan

1 Assistant Professor, Dept. of Horticulture. 2 Instructional Designer, Computer Based Education Laboratory. Contribution no. 146 Dept. of Horticulture. Authorized for publication as Paper no. 8180 in the Journal Series of the Pennsylvania

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Emily A. Barton, Susan S. Barton, and Thomas Ilvento

instructors” ( Simonson et al., 2009 ). This definition highlights three key features of distance education, which must be explicitly addressed in the instructional design and delivery: 1) learners are physically separate from one another and/or the instructor

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Rolston St. Hilaire, Theodore W. Sammis, and John G. Mexal

for three 50 min lectures and one 2-h laboratory each week. Each of three laboratory sections has 15 to 17 students, with a teaching assistant (TA) assigned to each laboratory section. At NMSU, instruction in HORT 100G routinely requires laboratory

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Amy L. McFarland, Benjamin J. Glover, Tina M. Waliczek, and Jayne M. Zajicek

plants and nature ( Klemmer et al., 2005 ; Pigg et al., 2006 ; Robinson and Zajicek, 2005 ; Skelly and Bradley, 2000 ). Unfortunately, Skelly and Bradley (2000) found that gardening was used as an instructional tool less than 10% of the time even