Performance of college-level floral design students was compared using a sample of 140 students from Texas A&M University. The experimental group was enrolled in the online version of the course, while the control group was enrolled in the traditional version of the course. Students in both groups were asked to fill out surveys at the beginning and end of the semester. In addition, student floral designs were evaluated at the beginning and end of the semester, and student grades were compared at the end of the semester. No statistically significant differences were noted in terms of student course satisfaction. However, differences were noted in course grades, with those enrolled in the traditional section of the course outperforming those in the online section. Overall, the students in both sections of the course did well in terms of grades, floral design skill scores, and course satisfaction. Results indicated that certain student characteristics may be indicators for student success in online courses.
The University of Florida College of Agriculture and Life Sciences offers the Bachelor of Science degree program in Environmental Horticulture at the Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center (FLREC). Instructors at the FLREC deliver course work and course work is also presented using a variety of distance education (DE) technologies. These DE technologies include interactive video conferencing, videotape, and web-based courses. The question often arises as to how many courses should be delivered using DE versus live onsite instruction. This survey was conducted to ascertain how students perceive the quality of education they are receiving using a mixture of delivery methods.
The performance and satisfaction of students enrolled in a traditionally structured lecture/lab floral design course and a Web-based version of the same course were compared. Students were assigned randomly to course sections by available seating. Data collected included a demographic survey, design and course evaluations, and test grades. Significant differences were noted in class grades, with students in the traditionally taught course outperforming the Web-based students in both lecture and lab grades. Results from a survey instrument designed to determine whether students were suited to the distance learning environment (given only to the Web-based students) indicated a direct correlation between distance preparedness and course grades. A higher level of distance course preparedness correlated with a higher grade in the course. There was also a direct correlation between grades and whether the student was in the course with the delivery method they preferred. Students who were assigned to the course they preferred had significantly higher grades than students who did not. These results indicate that overall, a course such as floral design may be more effectively taught through traditional teaching techniques. However, certain students with adequate computer skills and a preference for Web-based courses may be successful in courses such as floral design.
Conversion of the introductory plant biology course for non-majors from a lecture/lab format to a web-based course was a collaborative project between the Department of Plant Biology and the Instructional Support group at ASU. This course provides an introduction to biology through the world of plants by including lectures and laboratory activities that examine plant systems. The project was undertaken to provide students with an asynchronous opportunity to participate in either the course, the lab, or both. There were three distinct phases of implementation of the multimedia website: Design, Development, and Delivery. The design phase was driven by the faculty, who, along with graduate assistants, developed the course outline and content. They gathered images, identified concepts to be animated, and created storyboards to layout the sequence in the animation. The development stage was driven by the Instructional Designers who selected the appropriate media for animations and worked with developers to create them. The delivery phase was again driven by the professors. They implemented the website as a teaching tool, gathered feedback from students and teaching assistants, and worked with instructional designers and multimedia developers to improve the site. A wide variety of on-line multimedia components were incorporated into the website, including illustrations, images, animations, interactive modules, video and text. Three separate media packages were used: MacroMedia Flash (Macromedia, 2000), Director Shockwave (Macromedia, 2000), and QuickTime (Apple, Inc. 2000). Findings from surveys of students, faculty, and staff identified positive regard for the site as a whole. Several technological and logistical challenges were encountered and addressed.
, 1994 ), interactive online tools for instruction ( Campbell et al., 2011 ), and web-based courses ( Teolis et al., 2007 ). Web-based courses are becoming more common, and even in site-based courses, students are using more online resources. These
group get the higher scores, suggesting that some live instruction would be a useful supplement to a web-based course. It is possible that web-based students did not do as well on the quiz because they studied less than the traditional group. The amount
course, through eXtension’s Moodle (Perth, Australia) campus. Moodle is a free, open-source web application designed to create web-based courses that support collaborative and interactive learning environments. Moodle boasts over six million courses and
region. We specifically chose to develop the modules within Moodle because it is an extremely cost-effective, open-source software package for developing and hosting web-based courses and advanced websites. Moodle is a learning management system and is