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Developing a precision agriculture technology course for regions with lower technology adoption levels

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

Citation:  2021 ASABE Annual International Virtual Meeting  2100475.(doi:10.13031/aim.202100475)
Authors:   Sunil K Mathanker
Keywords:   Agricultural and environmental systems, course, curriculum, precision agriculture technologies, student assessment.

Abstract. Precision agriculture technologies offers several benefits most important among them are higher farm profits and improved environmental health. The quality of precision agriculture education is one of the main barriers in the adoption of these technologies. There are studies documenting development of precision agriculture technology courses for the world regions with higher levels of adoption of these technologies. However, there are limited studies for the world regions typically characterized by low adoption of these technologies such as Puerto Rico, a US territory. The purpose of this study was to collect and analyze the pre and post knowledge levels of the students attending a developed precision agriculture technology course. Knowledge score for each course topic was calculated from the student responses following the procedure for calculation of overall grade point average. Similarly, knowledge gain, difference of post and prior knowledge scores, for each course topic was calculated. The results indicated that knowledge gains were higher for the course topics with the lower prior knowledge scores, and were lower for the course topics with the higher prior knowledge scores. The study indicates that a prior knowledge survey can be used to adapt to the needs of the students in real-time. Likewise, a post knowledge survey can be used to improve instructional material, to identify suitable teaching methods and to modify the course. World region with limited adoption of precision agriculture technology may begin with a course without laboratory exercises and later add laboratory exercises as equipment becomes available and/or adoption level increases.

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