The effectiveness of Internet or online training was compared to traditional classroom training in the Master Gardener Core Course/Horticulture 1003 at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul. Overall horticultural knowledge was significantly greater for both groups in posttest results, and there was no significant difference in horticultural knowledge between the two groups. Online learners did not perceive the lack of instructor face-to-face interaction to be as important as did classroom participants. Online learners also placed a greater value on flexibility of class time and no commuting. Both groups spent approximately 75 hours on the class. However, 20% of classroom participants' time was commuting. Online training was an effective method for teaching Master Gardeners in this study.
Karen J. Jeannette and Mary Hockenberry Meyer
Ann Marie VanDerZanden, Bob Rost, and Rick Eckel
At Oregon State Univ. (OSU), a team of educators and web designers developed a noncredit, on-line training module for the OSU Master Gardener program. The on-line module consists of the botany component of the annual Master Gardener training. It is comprised of text from the botany chapter in the Master Gardener handbook, an on-line discussion group, on-line quizzes for each section, a clickable glossary, links to additional educational resources on the web, a few animations, and numerous photographs and line drawings. To evaluate the effectiveness of this learning tool a group of 24 Master Gardeners (all graduates of the Master Gardener training program from previous years) tested the module via their home computers. Additionally usability testing was completed with a group of eight Master Gardener volunteers. These participants navigated through the course in a computer lab setting while they were observed by the development team. Participants from both groups completed an evaluation regarding technical issues, organization and presentation of the module, navigation throughout the module, and content as well as user satisfaction. Overall participants felt this was a useful training tool for the Master Gardener program and that it would be a useful addition to the annual training. They also noted that features such as the on-line discussion group and accessibility of e-mail made them feel connected to the other on-line learners as well as to the course instructor. This module will be used as the primary training tool for the botany component of the annual training for over 75 new trainees in 2000.
Ann Marie VanDerZanden and Christopher Hilgert
In conjunction with two noncredit, on-line training modules for the Oregon Master Gardener Program, a team of educators and web designers developed an evaluation tool to help determine the effectiveness of these modules for training Master Gardeners. The evaluation tool includes questions on technical issues, organization and presentation of the module, navigation throughout the module, content and user satisfaction. Data collected from participants via the tool in 1999 on the basic botany module, highlighted areas that needed improvement including reducing the amount of on-screen reading (organization and presentation) and an inability of participants to access video clips and animations (user satisfaction). Overall, participants gave both modules high marks in each of the five categories. Major modifications made to the soils and fertilizers module in 2000 were likely responsible for the improved organization/presentation rating (2.4 in 1999 to 1.9 in 2000 where 1 = highly positive ranking; 5 = highly negative ranking) and the user satisfaction rating (2.5 in 1999 to 2.0 in 2000). Both years the overall acceptability of the course was high 1.45 (1 = highly positive ranking; 5 = highly negative ranking) and 1.80, 1999 and 2000 respectively, and has encouraged the team to continue developing on-line training modules for the Oregon Master Gardener Program.
Ariana P. Torres, Susan S. Barton, and Bridget K. Behe
, several extension programs and industry conferences include the use of online tools in their training and educational efforts. For example, MS Bricks to Clicks was developed by extension specialists to train agricultural-based businesses on the adoption of
Mary Hockenberry Meyer, Cynthia Haynes, Denise Ellsworth, Sarah Ellis Williams, Celeste Welty, and Karen Jeannette
% goes to the module author(s), 55% goes to the state which the EMG is from, and 25% supports eXtension administration and maintenance of the module online. This distribution gives an incentive for the author to develop other training modules, support for
Ann Marie VanDerZanden
need, two online training programs were developed. The first was a set of 20 online training modules to prepare INLA members for ICNP exam. The second was a series of advanced training webinars that cover emerging issues in the green industry. Iowa
Ellen M. Bauske, Lelia Kelly, Kerry Smith, Lucy Bradley, Timothy Davis, and Pam Bennett
posted online. The development teams posted supplemental materials and resources for afternoon hands-on training sessions. Participating agents used these resources to develop afternoon activities that complimented their programs, and/or met local needs
Mary H. Meyer, Rhoda Burrows, Karen Jeannette, Celeste Welty, and Aaron R. Boyson
., 2008 ). Although much has been written about MG training ( Meyer, 2007 ), assessing MG confidence in their volunteer work is limited ( Swackhamer and Kiernan, 2005 ). MGs readily adopt new practices ( Peronto and Murphy, 2009 ) and are interested in
Carl Taylor, Elizabeth B. Symon, Amy Dabbs, Alexander Way, and Olivia M. Thompson
, educators were trained how to implement and sustain school-based gardens using a 5-week online course that incorporated a hands-on training and technical assistance from Master Gardeners for 1 year and were then provided with a four-bed starter garden. This
Gilberto Uribe and Luisa Santamaria
Hybrid teaching refers to course delivery through a blend of traditional, face-to-face teaching, along with online instruction outside of the classroom ( Hino and Kahn, 2016 ). Incorporating online components can allow educators to reach a greater