Creating Virtual Nursery Trips to Improve On-campus and Distance Education in Nursery Production

Thursday, July 25, 2013: 8:15 AM
Desert Salon 13-14 (Desert Springs J.W Marriott Resort )
James A. Robbins , University of Arkansas Coop. Extn., Little Rock, AR
Amy N. Wright , Auburn University, Auburn, AL
Mengmeng Gu , Texas AgriLife Center, College Station, TX
A national survey conducted in 2009 of instructors of nursery production indicated a need for multimedia resources to supplement in-class instruction and field trips. Finances, logistics, and geography limit the scope of nursery production operations that students can view on field trips. The objective of this project was to document nursery production operations with video footage and create virtual nursery trips to improve on-campus and distance education in nursery production. For the first year of this project, digital HD video footage was captured at nurseries around the country.  From October 2010 to November 2011, video footage was collected using a professional videographer at 42 nursery businesses in 22 states. Total travel included 65 days over 18 trips covering almost 43,000 miles. Almost 25 GB  or approximately 26 h of video footage was collected.  Video footage collected was inventoried and archived, and appropriate clips were selected for inclusion in final product.  Video footage selected for each topic was edited together by the videographer.  Narration for selected video footage was written, and a professional narrator recorded all narration for each topic. In the final product, videos were arranged by topic for a total of 20 “chapters”. Video segments within each chapter or topic range from a few seconds to several minutes. The finished product has been transferred to a single USB drive and contains 444 individual topic videos (total time about 10.75 h) and 28 company profiles for a total size of 29 GB.  In Spring 2013 USB drives containing all videos and company profiles were provided to instructors of horticulture at over 100 land grant institutions (1862, 1890, and 1994) who submitted a request form.  Product users will be surveyed to document content, organization, accessibility, and ease of use, and implementation of the product.
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