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Integrating Precision Technologies into a Mechanized Systems Management Course

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2007 ASAE Annual Meeting  078035.(doi:10.13031/2013.23029)
Authors:   Donald M Johnson
Keywords:   Curriculum, education, laboratory activities, precision agriculture, teaching, technology

Three precision agriculture (PA) technologies were integrated into a senior-level machinery management course (AGME 4203 - Mechanized Systems Management) at the University of Arkansas. These technologies were: (i) light-bar guidance system, (ii) E-Z Steer assisted steering system, and (iii) a variable-rate application system. Over a three-week period, students (N = 11) participated in five lectures and three laboratory sessions where they learned about these technologies and participated in field-based lab activities involving each PA technology. Following the three-week instructional period, students completed a survey about their prior experiences with and prior knowledge of each PA technology. In addition, students were asked about the extent to which the hands-on laboratory activities were effective in increasing their knowledge and skills for each PA technology. The survey results indicated that a majority of students were not familiar with light-bar guidance systems (81.8%), assisted steering systems (81.8%), or variable-rate application systems (54.6%) prior to the class and lab activities. All of the students indicated that the hands-on lab activities had been helpful in increasing their knowledge and skills with each of the three PA technologies.

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