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Igino Teolis, Ellen B. Peffley and David B. Wester

A study was conducted to evaluate student performance after receiving the same horticultural lesson through one of two modes of instruction. Students enrolled in an introductory horticulture course received either a traditional herbaceous plant identification (ID) lesson with live plant specimens or the same lesson using only text and photographs on the Internet in one of their laboratory sessions. A follow-up experiment was conducted in which web-based students studied photographs of the exact same plants studied by students receiving traditional instruction. Learning style preferences and demographic information were obtained from surveys. For both experiments, students receiving traditional instruction had higher scores on the plant ID quiz than web-based students. All students were able to identify plants from photographs just as well as from live plant specimens. Visual learners scored higher when receiving traditional instruction when compared with web-based instruction. Student grade point average was positively correlated with quiz score for both experiments.

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Cynthia B. McKenney, Ellen B. Peffley and Igino Teolis

Increasingly more collegiate courses are offered through a variety of distance formats. Course management platforms have reduced the faculty time required to create and deliver distance courses while enhancing asynchronous communication. In this study, the transactional distance theory was used to evaluate the different communication levels found between faculty and students in web-facilitated, online, and interactive video courses. A comparison of the online course sections to the web-facilitated course sections determined that there were significantly more asynchronous contacts with the online sections than with the web-facilitated sections. In addition, the total instructor time invested to administer the online course sections was significantly less than for the web-facilitated course sections. The interactive video conferencing sections could not be compared directly to the other teaching modes because the course content differed; however, mean time intervals for teaching and administrative activities are provided.