Click on “Download PDF” for the PDF version or on the title for the HTML version.
If you are not an ASABE member or if your employer has not arranged for access to the full-text, Click here for options.
Technology Trade-Offs in Agribusiness Distance Education
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org
Citation: Pp. 534-539 in Proceedings of the World Congress of Computers in Agriculture and Natural Resources (13-15, March 2002, Iguacu Falls, Brazil) 701P0301.(doi:10.13031/2013.8377)
Authors: Suzanne Thornsbury and Wendy Griffin
Keywords: Computer teaching and training, information delivery system
There is growing demand among non-traditional students for agribusiness higher
education at multiple levels (undergraduate, graduate, and continuing certification).
Advances in technology have allowed land-grant universities to service these needs
through a growing number of mediums. In 1998 University of Florida/IFAS
established a teaching program 200 miles from the main campus that offers live
instruction leading to B.S. degrees in Food and Resource Economics (agribusiness
specialization) and Horticultural Sciences. This same program is evolving into a hub
for technology-delivered distance education in agribusiness.
(Download PDF) (Export to EndNotes)
The purpose of this paper is to evaluate alternative technologies for agribusiness
distance education with respect to infrastructure needs, faculty development, course
delivery, and student needs and development. Three specific technologies are
discussed (interactive video conferencing, world wide web, and video tape). Results
indicate that, not surprisingly, the technology is advancing faster than individual and
institutional abilities to adapt and a mixed medium can potentially offer a smoother
transition. There is a continuum of preferences for technology methods among
faculty and students, although these are not always consistent. Faculty tend to view
videotape, interactive video conferencing, and Internet modes of delivering as
requiring increasingly steep learning curves and length of preparation. From the
students perspective; video conferencing, videotape, and Internet modes of delivery
require increasing levels of adoption from traditional learning styles. Delivery via
Internet, videotape, and video conferencing are increasingly restrictive in reaching the
growing audience and increasing costly from an institutional perspective. Mixed
mediums are often the best option as they allow all groups more time to adopt and
smooth the transition to technology based agribusiness education.