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A comparison of instructional formats used to teach an undergraduate agricultural safety course

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

Citation:  2022 ASABE Annual International Meeting  2200849.(doi:10.13031/aim.202200849)
Authors:   Mariah Beth Swygert, Hunter F Massey, Catherine A DiBenedetto, Jacob Paul Koch
Keywords:   Agricultural Safety Course, Agricultural Safety Surveillance Program, General Safety, Instructional Formats, Safe Equipment Operating Practices, Special Topics Course.

Abstract. Across multiple universities, governmental organizations, and corporations in the United States, many agricultural surveillance and safety programs have been developed to monitor and prevent injuries. A great need exists for agricultural safety and surveillance programs in secondary and post-secondary educational institutions to build safe equipment operating practices. To address this need, Clemson University developed the “CU Safe” program through Clemson Cooperative Extension called “Growing Safe Tigers.” One component of this program was an Agricultural Safety special topics course targeted at undergraduate students. The one credit-hour course was taught once a week for one hour and focused on machinery-related safety topics, including areas in tractor operation and general safety, roll-over protective structure (ROPS), personal protective equipment (PPE), power takeoff (PTO), all-terrain vehicle (ATV), utility task vehicle (UTV), mower and small outdoor power equipment, and power hand tools. The undergraduate course was delivered face-to-face to 17 students in 2019 and 8 students in 2021. In 2020, 16 students completed the course in an online format. Pre and post-tests were administered to students at the beginning and end of the semester. Findings indicated participation in the course had a positive influence on post-test scores for general safety concepts. Comparing the results and student feedback of three years with different instructional formats indicated face-to-face weekly lectures and quizzes using a blended classroom approach offered an increase in students‘ acquisition of agricultural safety knowledge and awareness of safe equipment operating practices.

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