Department of Environmental Horticulture, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Authors gratefully acknowledge Adam Nikolaidis for instructional design development and Laurie Mecca for digital photography. This project
Sandra B. Wilson and Helen E. Danielson
Computer-aided instruction is becoming ever-more popular in higher education. The visual nature of horticultural instruction makes it particularly amenable to teaching with computer-based graphic and hypertext formats. The Texas Tech Horticulture Faculty is interested in developing multimedia materials for instruction. Thus far, attention has been directed mainly at courses in introductory horticulture and plant propagation. For the plant propagation course, one activity is the construction of a hypertext glossary in the area of asexual propagation. Topics included in the glossary include propagation by cutting, layering, budding, grafting, and micropropagation. Multiple-choice exams are also available in the module so that students can assess their understanding of the subject matter presented. The glossary is not meant to replace lecture attendance, rather students will be encouraged to access the material outside of class to supplement lecture material. The student is presented a narrative with hot-text links that when activated, pull up additional information with a combination of text and graphics. Alternatively, students can access the same information from a hierarchical topic menu. Plant propagation instructors may also benefit from the glossary's ready supply of visuals that can be down-loaded and used in a traditional classroom format.
Lucy Bradley, Leslie Towill, Jean Stutz, and Robert Roberson
Conversion of the introductory plant biology course for non-majors from a lecture/lab format to a web-based course was a collaborative project between the Department of Plant Biology and the Instructional Support group at ASU. This course provides an introduction to biology through the world of plants by including lectures and laboratory activities that examine plant systems. The project was undertaken to provide students with an asynchronous opportunity to participate in either the course, the lab, or both. There were three distinct phases of implementation of the multimedia website: Design, Development, and Delivery. The design phase was driven by the faculty, who, along with graduate assistants, developed the course outline and content. They gathered images, identified concepts to be animated, and created storyboards to layout the sequence in the animation. The development stage was driven by the Instructional Designers who selected the appropriate media for animations and worked with developers to create them. The delivery phase was again driven by the professors. They implemented the website as a teaching tool, gathered feedback from students and teaching assistants, and worked with instructional designers and multimedia developers to improve the site. A wide variety of on-line multimedia components were incorporated into the website, including illustrations, images, animations, interactive modules, video and text. Three separate media packages were used: MacroMedia Flash (Macromedia, 2000), Director Shockwave (Macromedia, 2000), and QuickTime (Apple, Inc. 2000). Findings from surveys of students, faculty, and staff identified positive regard for the site as a whole. Several technological and logistical challenges were encountered and addressed.
Horticulture Teaching Resources is a web site at The Ohio State Univ. designed to provide high school and higher education horticulture educators free-access to curriculum resource materials. The information has been structured to facilitate the instruction of basic concepts in plant biology, propagation, nutrition, and plant materials. A searchable database interface is used to access color photos, lab exercises, and test questions. Users of the system can also provide URL addresses to their own resources for inclusion in the database. (http://hortwww-2.ag.ohio-state.edu/hvp/htr/htr.html)
Sandra A. Balch and Dick L. Auld
As the public becomes more aware of environmental concerns, there has been a renewed interest in composting. Municipalities are promoting composting as a way to save diminishing landfill space. Although there are many successful composting programs, many would-be composters are thwarted by a lack of expertise, information, and follow-up support. Brochures, videos, and slide presentations present visual information, but hands-on instruction and active involvement in on-going programs has increased the likelihood of success. Integrating composting into established programs, such as community gardens, institutional programs, education curriculum, and demonstration sites, has proven an effective method of conveying composting information to the public.
Ann Marie VanDerZanden and Tom Cook
Once an abandoned property at the edge of campus, the 7,000 ft2 (650.3 m2) horticulture teaching garden at Oregon State University has evolved from an overgrown residential lot into a well-defined and meticulously maintained garden. Since its beginning, an irrigation system, hardscapes, turf, bulbs, annuals, perennials, and woody plants have been installed by students enrolled in undergraduate horticulture courses. About 200 students use the garden annually as part of their formal instruction and it is currently integrated into the curricula of courses in landscape design, landscape construction and maintenance, and herbaceous and woody plant identification. Because the garden space is dynamic, curriculum changes can easily be accommodated.
A flat bed scanner can be used as a high-resolution digital camera with close-up capabitlities for photographing plant material such as leaves, flowers, and plant pests. The scanner is very useful as a diagnostic and instructional tool that is more portable and less expensive than a camera and dissecting microscope. The quality of the images can be very good and can be enhanced in post-production using image editing software. The main disadvantage is the shallow depth of field, which requires the object be on a single plane.
Daniel C. Wright
Because ASHS has adopted in their editorial policies the use of Systeme International (SI) units, it has become necessary to report light measurements in units other than footcandles. Since measurements using a radiometer can be tedious, tables providing values for different sources of light are often used to approximate required units. Using the tables provided by Thimijan and Heins [HortScience 18(6): 818-822], a Lotus 123 worksheet program was designed to interconvert photometric, radiometric, and quantum light units of measure. The worksheet is menu driven and can handle straight conversions or mixed conversions by entering requested information. Setup of the worksheet and instructions in its use will be provided at the meeting.
Dennis R. Decoteau
The Teaching Portfolio is a factual description of a professor's strengths and accomplishments. It includes documents and materials that collectively suggest the scope and quality of a professor's teaching performance. The Teaching Portfolio is a living, breathing document that changes over time. Items in a Teaching Portfolio include a statement of teaching responsibilities, description of steps to improve teaching, instructional innovations, student and teaching evaluations, awards and honors, and a record of students who have succeeded. I will discuss the steps taken at Clemson University to use the Teaching Portfolio.
Steven E. Newman and Susan H. Ellsbury
A library skills workbook was developed for horticulture students to provide them with instruction in the use of bibliographic research materials and services available to them from the university library system. The effectiveness of the library skills workbook was tested by comparing pre- and post-test scores of undergraduate and graduate students. International and national graduate students were compared. Graduate students scored higher on the pre-test than did undergraduates. Students from the United States scored higher than Asian students, but not higher than Latin American students. Students' knowledge of the library collection and layout were improved 21.3%; however, undergraduate students' knowledge increased 13% more than that of graduate students.