Student involvement in two research projects at a 2-year agricultural college is described. The students assisted in the process of data collection, tabulation, and the preparation of publications. From participating in these research projects, the students earned academic credit and learned the concepts and processes of scientific methodology. Several student shills, including observation, making judgements, and cooperation among peers, were enhanced through hands-on experience. The research proved to be a very enjoyable learning experience for all of the participants.
Robert W. McMahon, Richard K. Lindquist, and Harry A. Hoitink
C. B. McKenney and D. L. Auld
84 WORKSHOP 11 Teaching Horticulture in Changing Times
John W. White, David J. Beattie, and Perry Kubek
J. Benton Storey
The Trans Texas Video Conference Network (TTVN) has been linked to all Texas A&M Univ. campuses and most of the Regional Research and Extension Centers. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has funded an aggressive project of establishing TTVN class rooms in many departments across the College Station campus, including The Horticultural Science Dept. in 1997. The first two Hort courses taught were HORT 422 Citrus and Subtropical Fruits in Fall 1996 and HORT 418 Nut Culture in Spring 1997. This extended the class room 400 miles south to Weslaco, 300 miles north to Texarkana and Dallas, and 700 miles west to El Paso. Students at each site had video and audio interaction with the professor and with each other. Advantages included the availability of college credit courses to areas where this subject matter did not previously exist, which helps fulfill the Land-grant University Mission. Quality was maintained through lecture and lab outlines on Aggie Horticulture, the department's Web home page, term papers written to ASHS serial publicationspecifications, and rigorous examinations monitored by site facilitators. Lecture presentations were presented via Power Point, which took about twice as long to prepare than traditional overhead transparencies. Administrative problems remain, but will be solved when the requested Distance Education Registration Category is initiated so that subvention credit can be shared. The lecture portion of the graduate course, HORT 601 Nutrition of Horticultural Plants, will be taught in the fall semester 1997 at eight sites throughout the state.
Lois Berg Stack
Master Gardener programs were conducted through 10 of Maine's 16 county offices in 1993. In an effort to reduce the number of identical presentations given by the limited number of instructors, 5 of the 10 sessions were conducted via interactive television (ITV), while the remaining 5 sessions were held locally. Participants (n=215) were surveyed about their learning experience in fall 1993. Data compare the local ITV audience vs. 7 distant audiences viewing sessions in real time vs. 2 audiences viewing taped sessions at a later date, on test scores of material presented, and on attitudes about the program. Data also summarize the types of projects on which Master Gardener volunteer hours were applied, and participants' attitudes about how volunteer programs could be made more effective.
Gregory E. Welbaum
A distance learning homepage at: http://www.bsi.vt.edu/welbaum/hort4764/ was created to teach an introductory college-level course on vegetable crops to students at Virginia Tech. The course was created to serve students in the horticulture program at Virginia Beach, Va., students in the Commonwealth who cannot take classes on the Blacksburg campus, and students on the Blacksburg campus who could not schedule the classroom-based course. The course is not selfpaced, but directs students through 44 lessons on various topics including detailed descriptions of 28 different vegetables. The site is primarily in HTML format with archived student projects and old exams in PDF format. Audio clips are used to emphasis key information and to add a personal touch. There are >550 pictures and descriptions of vegetables and vegetable crop production linked to the website. Students can be examined using a computer testing system call Whizquiz that grades and corrects each exam. “Web Forum” software enables online discussion among students and the instructor. Discussion sessions have been successfully conducted between students and guests at distant locations. Links are provided to over 25 other websites with information on vegetable crops. The project was funded by a USDA/CSREES Higher Education Challenge Grant.
Adrienne Ploss, B. Rosie Lerner, and Michael N. Dana
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires public entities to be readily accessible to individuals with disabilities, including public gardens. However, managers of such gardens are not likely to be familiar with the language of ADA or with what steps they must take to be in compliance. This study served to summarize the requirements of ADA as they pertain to a small public garden. In addition, the Purdue Univ. Horticulture Gardens (PUHG) were evaluated to determine the current level of compliance with ADA and to identify areas in need of attention. The result was an action plan, not only useful for PUHG, but one that can be adapted by other public gardens.
Carl Motsenbocker and Sandra Allain
An organic gardening class was developed to provide nonhorticulture students an opportunity to become acquainted with horticultural science and the basics of gardening organically. The course was developed as a 3-hour (1 hour lecture, 2 hours lab), two-credit course taught in the fall semester using an organic gardening textbook. A major component of the lab is the development and maintenance of a small individual garden plot during the semester. Students grow their own plant materials, plant, fertilize, and monitor pests, and harvest at the end of the semester. The organic gardening class was taught for 7 years and evolved into having a mandatory service-learning component that supports service projects in the local community. Projects included working with the local farmers' market, supporting school projects such as growing plants, school grounds beautification, gardening, or mulching, and gleaning product from research and garden plots for the local food bank. The poster will provide information on the class syllabus and materials, record of service projects, and reflections of the students during and at the end of the class.