continuing education programs have proven to be an effective way to reach green-industry professionals ( VanDerZanden, 2013a , 2013b ). Online classes can either be synchronous or asynchronous. Synchronous classes are live webinars delivered in real time and
S. Christopher Marble, Amy Fulcher, and Richard Karel
Ann Marie VanDerZanden
been reported about other online extension training programs ( Futris et al., 2004 ; Parker, 2009 ; Rich et al., 2011 ) Iowa Certified Nursery Professional Program. The online modules constituted the first electronic, asynchronous training program for
S. Christopher Marble, Amy Fulcher, and John Toman
information technology (IT) has generally risen ( Wells, 2004 ). Increased access to continuous learning, distance education, and asynchronous education through the use of technology was a directive of the National Association of State Universities and Land
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.
Kimberly A. Moore and Brian J. Pearson
The development of course content and assignments focused on basic horticultural knowledge and theory (hard skills) in an online setting is relatively straightforward and uncomplicated. However, it is slightly more challenging to improve a student’s soft skills like communication, problem solving, critical observation, and professionalism in an asynchronous online classroom environment. To address this challenge, we developed assignments, such as the challenge question, that focused on having students solve situational horticulture problems. In another assignment, we gave students data from an experiment and asked them to summarize and interpret the data. The recent addition of an online scholars ignite assignment (3-minute thesis competition) has turned each student into the teacher for a brief moment and makes the student an active learner and active listener. The addition of etiquette rules to the syllabus, weekly online tasks, and reminders help to develop professionalism and time management skills in addition to organization skills. It is impossible to cover all soft skills in any class but by offering various assignments and assessments, many soft skills are potentially improved.
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.
Dawn M. VanLeeuwen, Rolston St. Hilaire, and Emad Y. Bsoul
Statistical analysis of data from repeated measures experiments with missing factor combinations encounters multiple complications. Data from asynchronous cyclic drought experiments incorporate unequal numbers of drought cycles for different sources and provide an example of data both with repeated measures and missing factor combinations. Repeated measures data are problematic because typical analyses with PROC GLM do not allow the researcher to compare candidate covariance structures. In contrast, PROC MIXED allows comparison of covariance structures and several options for modeling serial correlation and variance heterogeneity. When there are missing factor combinations, the cross-classified model traditionally used for synchronized trials is inappropriate. For asynchronous data, some least squares means estimates for treatment and source main effects, and treatment by source interaction effects are inestimable. The objectives of this paper were to use an asynchronous drought cycle data set to 1) model an appropriate covariance structure using mixed models, and 2) compare the cross-classified fixed effects model to drought cycle nested within source models. We used a data set of midday water potential measurements taken during a cyclic drought study of 15 half-siblings of bigtooth maples (Acer grandidentatum Nutt.) indigenous to Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah. Data were analyzed using SAS PROC MIXED software. Information criteria lead to the selection of a model incorporating separate compound symmetric covariance structures for the two irrigation treatment groups. When using nested models in the fixed portion of the model, there are no missing factors because drought cycle is not treated as a crossed experimental factor. Nested models provided meaningful F tests and estimated all the least squares means, but the cross-classified model did not. Furthermore, the nested models adequately compared the treatment effect of sources subjected to asynchronous drought events. We conclude that researchers wishing to analyze data from asynchronous drought trials must consider using mixed models with nested fixed effects.
Brian J. Pearson, Kimberly A. Moore, and Dennis T. Ray
asynchronous teaching environment. As horticultural programs continue to expand, online teaching methods must also be developed to effectively prepare students for career success. The key to success is to have planned activities that answer specific learning
Emad Bsoul, Rolston St. Hilaire, and Dawn M. VanLeeuwen
Ecological traits such as an extensive range of natural distribution and tolerance to varying soil conditions, suggest that bigtooth maples (Acer grandidentatum Nutt.) could be popular landscape trees. But information on the tolerance of bigtooth maples to environmental stresses, such as drought, is virtually nonexistent. We studied physiological, growth and developmental traits of bigtooth maple plants from 15 trees native to Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah. Plants were grown in pots in a greenhouse and maintained as well-irrigated controls or exposed to drought and irrigated in cycles based on evapotranspiration. The ratio of variable to maximal fluorescence (Fv/Fm) was not different between drought-stressed and control plants, but the low Fv/Fm in plants designated as LM2 from the Lost Maples State Natural Area in Vanderpool, Tex., suggests these plants were relatively inefficient in capturing energy at PSII. Plants from another tree (LM5) originating from Lost Maples State Natural Area maintained similar predawn water potentials between drought-stressed and control plants after five cycles of drought. Plants from Dripping Springs State Park in Las Cruces, N.M., and those from LM2 had a strong, significant linear relationship between transpiration and stomatal conductance. Drought-stressed plants from Dripping Springs State Park, two plant sources from the Guadalupe Mountains in Salt Flat, Tex., designated as GM3 and GM4, and plants from trees designated as LM1 and LM2, had high relative growth rates and net assimilation rates. Drought-stressed plants from three of the four Guadalupe Mountain sources (GM1, GM3, GM4) had among the longest and thickest stems. Drought reduced shoot and root dry weight (DW). Although bigtooth maples showed several provenance differences in drought adaptation mechanisms, the lack of an irrigation effect on biomass allocation parameters such as root to shoot DW ratio and leaf area ratio implies that altered biomass allocation patterns may not be a common drought adaptation mechanism in bigtooth maples. Plants from selected provenances from the Guadalupe Mountains and Lost Maples State Natural Area in Texas, and to a lesser extent, provenances from Dripping Springs State Park in New Mexico might hold promise for selecting bigtooth maples for arid environments.
Cynthia B. McKenney, Ellen B. Peffley, and Igino Teolis
-mediated communication (CMC), e-mail, and private mail provided through course platforms ( Johnson and Huff, 2000 ; Manning, 1996 ). Despite enhancements in communication offered through CMC, concerns have continued to increase regarding asynchronous communication and