Virtual case studies help students in developing career skills

December 30th, 2008 - 4:31 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Dec 30 (ANI): Working on virtual case studies via the Internet can help landscaping and horticulture students to learn skills necessary to solve complex landscape management decisions, which are crucial to their career success, say researchers.

With the advent of technology, tools are now available to present students with web-based case studies, which contain a variety of components, including scripts, photographs, web page links, audio, and video.

These studies are meant to offer students with practical experience in solving many different scenarios, integrating their understanding of plant science, environmental and physical site constraints, and the human impact on built and natural landscapes.

The study co-authored by Ann Marie VanDerZanden, David Sandrock, and David Kopsell, measured student attitudes and perceptions of online learning case studies.

For the research, students at three universities (Iowa State University, Oregon State University, and the University of WisconsinPlatteville) completed an assignment that involved summarizing information about a scenario, diagnosing a problem, and making a recommendation to the homeowner on how best to manage the situation.

When the students completed the scenario, they were asked to complete a 20-question survey evaluating the case study.

Overall, students reacted positively, saying that they felt comfortable using the web-based format.

“They felt it was an effective way to deliver information,” said researchers.

Although there was a significant investment of time and money in developing this case study, the framework is now in place and additional problem-solving scenarios are being created.

Owing to the positive response by students, these case-study scenarios will be used in future courses.

The study is published in a recent issue of HortTechnology. (ANI)

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