In the past, horticulture students at the University of Maine have been taught to irrigate plants using only hand irrigation. It is becoming increasingly important to irrigate and fertilize efficiently in commercial greenhouses in order to reduce water waste and nutrient leaching. In 2004 and 2006, greenhouse management or plant production students were exposed to alternate methods of irrigating Dendranthema ×morifolium (chrysanthemum) in greenhouses to train students more effectively in irrigation techniques. In 2004, students measured the quantity of water applied to chrysanthemums once they reached the permanent wilting point from 26 Sept. until 30 Oct. The irrigation frequency generally increased as crops grew, but, the quantity of water applied upon irrigation was not significantly different. This experience provided students with a tangible idea of how irrigation frequency and timing change as crops grow, which could be applied to irrigation timing decisions in the future. In 2006, students grew a crop of chrysanthemums using alternate methods of irrigation (hand watering vs. drip irrigation) and fertilization. Student surveys in 2006 indicated that only 25% of students with previous experience working in a greenhouse or nursery had grown crops using drip irrigation, but all students with prior experience had irrigated by hand. Expanding student experiences with irrigation in the greenhouse uses active learning to instill students with more knowledge of irrigation and provide them with practical skills for irrigating efficiently and conservatively in the future.
Stephanie Burnett and Donglin Zhang
David R. Sandrock, Ray D. William, and Anita N. Azarenko
Nitrogen (N) management in container nurseries is part of a complex system. Working within this system, nursery owners, managers and employees routinely make N management decisions that have consequences for the immediate nursery environment (e.g., plant growth, yield, disease susceptibility, water quality) as well as areas beyond nursery boundaries (e.g., surface and groundwater quality, public perception). Research approaches often address parts of the system associated with the immediate nursery environment and purpose. As a result, best management practices that contribute to greater N use efficiency have been developed. Research approaches that consider the whole system reveal novel relationships and patterns that identify areas for future research and may direct future management decisions. To investigate N management from a whole system perspective, a group of nursery managers from Oregon and scientists from Oregon State University met three times between 2001 and 2003. Growers drew their N management systems and identified components, relationships and feedback loops using an ActionGram technique. From this information, researchers developed Group-based On-site Active Learning (GOAL). GOAL combines Action-Grams and the Adaptive Cycle at container nursery sites. In this case, N flow and management in container production systems served as the topic of active learning. Managers and employees from four wholesale container nurseries evaluated the GOAL exercise. After completing GOAL, 94% of participants indicated that they learned a new idea or concept about N cycling in their container nursery. Of those, 100% gained new ideas and concepts from peers and colleagues present at the meeting. In addition, 60% gained new ideas and concepts from researchers and 60% developed their own ideas and concepts. GOAL is a learning tool that provides a simple, convenient, interactive format for investigating complex systems.
U.K. Schuch and G.R. Nonnecke
Iowa State Univ. is committed to improve student learning and supports faculty and staff through Project LEA/RN (Learning Enhancement Action/Resource Network) workshops and continuous training. Project LEA/RN teaches cooperative learning techniques that are known to improve student interest in the subject, allow active participation, improve understanding and retention of the material, and encourage learning inside and outside the classroom. Three learning techniques that have been used successfully in our lecture and laboratory classes ranging from 20 to 100 students per class are: turn to your partner (TTYP), note-taking pairs (NTP), and jigsaw. In TTYP, the instructor asks a question and students formulate an answer individually, then share the answer with a partner, listen to the partner's answer, and finally create a new answer through discussion. NTP can be used after new material has been presented. A student compares notes with their partner, both add/correct their notes, share key points with a partner, and carefully listen to the partner's keypoints. In the jigsaw exercise, students who had the same assignment compare information they have prepared with each other and then with the entire class. In all exercises students are made accountable by the instructor who calls randomly on individuals to share their answers with the class. Examples of how to use these techniques and the interpersonal skills acquired and practiced during these exercises will be discussed.
Ricky M. Bates and David A. Baumbauer
Horticulture students often lack practical experience integrating information from diverse sources to solve complex real-life problems. Capstone courses seek to remedy this by giving students an opportunity to demonstrate a range of workplace skills such as teamwork, effective communication, and critical thinking. Sponsored competitions provide educators with an active-learning framework into which the goals of a capstone course can be developed. The Greenhouse of the Future competition allowed undergraduate students to conceptualize, develop, and prototype innovative greenhouse designs in a national competition venue. This article explains the guidelines of the Greenhouse of the Future competition and discusses how the competition was integrated into the capstone course Greenhouse Management.
Tina M. Waliczek, Kathryn M. Parsley, Paula S. Williamson, and Florence M. Oxley
laboratory setting, the increased time on task may have resulted in higher knowledge scores. Given that Taraban et al. (2007) found active learning–based laboratory units can lead to enhanced content knowledge and process learning for students, the
Student-centered learning means having students actively engaged in many aspects of a course to promote learning. Allowing students to participate in syllabus development is a method that involves students in the course and, in the process, assume responsibility for much of their learning. Students can help set course objectives, decide what is the evaluation criteria and who evaluates, determine and deliver some of the course content, and approve the code of conduct for the class. By helping with the aforementioned areas, students can see the relevance of the course to their needs and interests. They tend to take a greater interest in the course and participate more actively in the class. The process of student involvement in syllabus development requires several steps and utilizes techniques that are presented in the following paper.
Kent D. Kobayashi
enrollment has ranged from a minimum of 6 (2016) to maximum of 24 (2013), with an average of 14 students. Flipped classroom approach The flipped classroom approach was implemented in TPSS 300 to introduce more student centered active learning to supplement
Sonja M. Skelly and Jayne M. Zajicek
Project GREEN (Garden Resources for Environmental Education Now) is a garden program designed to help teachers integrate environmental education into their classroom using a hands-on tool, the garden. The objectives of this research project were to 1) develop an interdisciplinary garden activity guide to help teachers integrate environmental education into their curricula and 2) evaluate whether children developed positive environmental attitudes by participating in the activities. Students participating in the Project GREEN garden program had more positive environmental attitude scores than those students who did not participate. Second-grade students in the experimental and control groups had more positive environmental attitudes than fourth-grade students. In addition, this research found a significant correlation between the number of outdoor related activities students had experienced and their environmental attitudes.
Sandra B. Wilson and Luke Flory
An interactive plant key was developed as an online tool with the specific goal of improving student learning of botanical vocabulary, plant morphology, and plant families. The online tool provides two options for using the multiple-entry key: identification of plant families based on historic botanical illustrations or live plant samples. The database consists of 196 angiosperm families, each with up to 220 botanical characters, and includes all of the plant families found in Florida. The tool uses a ternary system to record the diversity within each plant family such that upon entering identification information, families are eliminated that do not contain specific characters, which narrows the list of possible correct families. The remaining families are ranked according to total score, so families in which the features are common will appear first. This versatile online tool can be used nationwide to supplement in-person laboratory courses or distance education classes in horticulture, botany, systematics, and biology. To date, the newly launched site has been accessed by 1148 unique visitors from 15 countries.
Kristin R. Campbell, Sandra B. Wilson, P. Christopher Wilson, and Zhenli He
Interactive review exercises were developed as an online learning component of an existing native plant landscaping course. The instruments were designed with specific goals for students to 1) test their plant identification knowledge, 2) practice leaf terminology with specific plant examples, and 3) associate landscape performance with native ecosystem characteristics. The plant identification tool was developed within a spreadsheet application using formulas consisting of logic statements. This tool tests the students’ ability to identify plants and spell scientific and common names associated with high-resolution plant images. The leaf terminology tool was developed using a multimedia platform. It uses a drag-and-drop interface where students are asked to associate a specific leaf term (i.e., margin, apex, base, texture, arrangement) with a scanned image that best matches the taxonomic term. The ecosystem tool, also developed using a multimedia platform, uses digital images captured for each of Florida's major ecosystems in conjunction with sets of plant combinations and site characteristics. Students select the appropriate choices and submit their answers online, after which they receive immediate feedback. Students reported an improvement in plant recognition after they had access to these identification tools. These interactive learning tools not only benefit students enrolled in this specific course but can be adapted to a variety of online courses nationwide.