Reprinted from Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education, Volume 24, Issue 1, Spring April 1, 1995, pages 45-48.
Publisher website: http://www.agronomy.org
Journal website: http://www.jnrlse.org
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author David J. Wehner was affiliated with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Currently, March 2008, he is Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences at California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo.
An essential component of an introductory turfgrass management course is the description of how turfgrass species are adapted to different cultural systems and environments. The objectives of this project were to develop an interactive program to introduce the characteristics of turfgrass species and their optimum environments and to evaluate the students' gain in understanding turf species characteristics through this approach. A self-contained application, Turf Species, was constructed using the SuperCard development tool. Turf Species consists of three sections including a self-paced tour of the species, a what if establishment section, and randomly composed reinforcement quizzes with automatic grading. Turf Species was designed to be distributed to students on diskette for self-paced study and reinforcement of material presented during previous lectures. Each student who used the Turf Species tool spent approximately 2 h evaluating the program. Seventy-one percent of the student evaluators felt that the graphic representations or illustrations for each species aided in their understanding of the material. All of the evaluators indicated that the testing module helped in their understanding of the turf species, and 86% of them suggested that the Turf Species program should be used more extensively in the introductory turfgrass management course. An evaluation of the test scores found on returned diskettes showed an average examination grade of 52% with a range from 5 to 100%.
Agronomy and Crop Sciences