The World Wide Web and other emerging information technologies are bringing about a quiet revolution in higher education. Networked computers deliver high-quality educational enhancements to students at little per unit cost to the teacher. Slide presentations, course handouts, on-line color photographs, and interactive modules are accessible from the computer desktop via high-speed Ethernet or modem connections. Aggie Horticulture, the Web server of the Texas Horticulture Program, will be used as a model to demonstrate the impact of Web technology on delivery of enhancements to “traditional” lecture-format courses and its potential for delivery of “nontraditional” courses to large audiences independent of space and time constraints.
R. Daniel Lineberger
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.
Sandra B. Wilson, Robert L. Geneve, and Fred T. Davies
Interactive web-based questions were developed for students to review subject matter learned in an online plant propagation course. Articulate Storyline software was used to build nearly 250 review questions with five different testing styles to ascertain proficiency in subject areas, including the biology of propagation, the propagation environment, seed propagation, vegetative propagation, micropropagation, and cell culture. Questions were arranged to correspond to the supporting textbook chapters in Hartmann and Kester’s Plant propagation: Principles and practices, ninth edition. These are open access and available to instructors and students worldwide. Users received immediate feedback for each question answered correctly or incorrectly. The system remembers where one leaves off, which enables starting and stopping multiple times within a chapter. Means of pre- and posttest responses to nine content knowledge items showed that students perceived a significant content knowledge gain in the course. These online interactive reviews can be adapted easily to other courses in a variety of fields, including horticulture, botany, systematics, and biology. They can also be expanded to overlay multiple objects and trigger events based on user response. Since inception, the website hosting these online reviews averaged 156 unique visitors per month. Students have reported this to be a useful tool to prepare them for course exams.
Milton E. Tignor, Sandra B. Wilson, Gene A. Giacomelli, Chieri Kubota, Efren Fitz-Rodriguez, Tracy A. Irani, Emily B. Rhoades, and Margaret J. McMahon
Alexandra G. Stone, Danielle D. Treadwell, Alice K. Formiga, John P.G. McQueen, Michelle M. Wander, James Riddle, Heather M. Darby, and Debra Heleba
agriculture information must be aggregated and integrated to most rapidly produce information of the greatest utility to farmers and industry. eOrganic’s mission has been to fill this information gap by building a diverse national CoP and using web
R. Daniel Lineberger
Studies by academic, extension, and private foundation think tanks have reaffirmed the land-grant philosophy as an important component of American society in the twenty-first century. Successful land-grant systems will have more closely integrated educational, research, and extension programs characterized as more accessible, affordable, and accountable than current models. The World Wide Web (Web) will play a key role in this transformation. Web technology is evolving rapidly, necessitating continuous and rapid adaptation by information providers (Lineberger, 1996a, 1996b; Rhodus and Hoskins, 1996). The availability of low-cost, user-friendly Web access through home TVs promises to upset the existing paradigms of extension information delivery through county offices and undergraduate instruction exclusively in the campus classroom. Some land-grant professionals have adopted Web technology as a tool to deliver educational programs and coursework; however, most have not, citing as justification the very steep learning curve and time involved in formatting materials for electronic delivery. We have emphasized the need for lifelong learning to our clientele and students; we must heed our own advice. Faculty must develop the ability to integrate appropriate technology into their own programs, since it is clear that land-grant systems of the future will not provide them with the support personnel to do it for them.
R. Daniel Lineberger
Recent studies by academic, extension, and private foundation “think tanks” have reaffirmed the land-grant philosophy as an important component of American society in the 21st century. According to Bill Campbell's dictum, successful land-grant systems will have more closely integrated educational, research, and extension programs characterized as more ACCESSIBLE, AFFORDABLE, and ACCOUNTABLE than current models. The World Wide Web affords the land-grant professional an information delivery/teaching system that conforms to Campbell's three As. Web technology is evolving rapidly, necessitating continuous and rapid adaptation by information providers. The availability of low-cost, user-friendly Web access through home TVs promises to upset the existing paradigms of extension information delivery through county offices and undergraduate instruction exclusively in the campus classroom. Some land-grant professionals have adopted Web technology as a tool to deliver educational programs and coursework; however, the vast majority have not. Most faculty continue to distribute information in a printed form, citing as justification the very steep learning curve and time involved in formatting materials for electronic delivery. We have emphasized the need for life-long learning to our clientele and students; we must heed our own advice. The transition from a paper-based, county-centered extension delivery system and campus classroom-oriented undergraduate educational system is being facilitated by satellite and compressed video conferencing, and Web server networks. Faculty must develop the ability to integrate appropriate technology into their own programs, since it is clear that the “efficient” land-grant systems of the future will not provide them with the support personnel to do it for them.
R. Daniel Lineberger
A tool with enough power and versatility to communicate the depth and breadth of the art and science of horticulture has emerged with the development of the World Wide Web. First created to meet the rapid communication needs of high-energy particle physicists, the Web has proven to be a powerful information-providing tool enabling communication with all the diverse audiences of horticulture. Web-browsing software is multimedia in nature, and graphically based. Information can be colorful, interactive, commercial, amateur, or arcane, depending on the skill and objectives of the information provider. The target audience can be school children, horticultural producers, home gardeners, or academic researchers. Access to the Web is inexpensive and becoming widely available. These features enable audiences that previously had difficulty accessing the vast stores of horticultural information that reside within the confines of academic and governmental libraries to get that information from their schools or homes. The ever-growing demand for information, the need to integrate Web technology into teaching at all levels, and the adoption of the Web as a resource for distribution of peer-reviewed scholarly work has led to the development of various creative solutions among academic, professional, and avocational horticulturists. Some of these will be examined in detail during the workshop.
Sandra B. Wilson, Keona L. Muller, Judith A. Gersony, and Brian T. Scully
; Olsen et al., 1999 ; VanDerZanden and Cook, 1999 ; Wilson et al., 2004 ). With the advancements in web technology, these learning exercises can reach much broader audiences. For example, Wilson and Danielson (2005) created an interactive virtual