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Effectiveness of Electronic-based Educational Strategies for Teaching Community Based Agricultural Safety Programs to Youth

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

Citation:  Pp. 527-533 in Proceedings of the World Congress of Computers in Agriculture and Natural Resources (13-15, March 2002, Iguacu Falls, Brazil)  701P0301.(doi:10.13031/2013.8376)
Authors:   R. Tormoehlen, W. Field, R. Ortega and K. Machtmes
Keywords:   Youth, 4-H, Multimedia, Computer-Aided Instruction, Agricultural Equipment, Safety

Research is currently being conducted at Purdue University to evaluate the effectiveness of interactive multimedia CD-ROM and World Wide Web (WWW) educational programs to teach youth critical agricultural tractor and machinery safety and health-related topics required under the Federal Hazardous-Occupations Order. The selected teaching strategies will be evaluated in community-based settings for their effectiveness in developing knowledge, attitudes, behaviors and practices related specifically to the safe operation of agricultural tractors and machinery by youth. This paper focuses on three key components of the project, those being: determination of the relevant subject matter content to be included; rationale for design of the website and CD-ROM; and, methodology being used to evaluate the effectiveness of the teaching strategies implemented. To determine subject matter content for the instructional component of the project, an expert panel representing key stakeholders was assembled and used to rank critical knowledge and tasks associated with the safe operation of farm tractors and machinery. A list of desired competencies were identified and further reviewed by a group of secondary school secondary school agricultural education teachers and youth representing the target population. Over 50% of the youth and teachers agreed that 72 and 80 of the 85 tasks respectively should be included in the final tractor and machinery safety curriculum, thereby validating the work of the expert panel. The identified competencies and curriculum outline are being used to develop a CD-ROM and Web based version of the tractor and machinery certification curriculum that can function as stand alone delivery strategies. A research plan has been developed to measure the effectiveness, through comparative analysis of educational outcomes, of the Web based and CD-ROM version of the curriculum.

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