Differential Impacts of Online Delivery Methods on Student Learning: A Case Study in Biorenewables

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Martin, Robert
McLeod, Scott
Major Professor
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Jarboe, Darren
Affiliate Professor
Raman, D. Raj
Morrill Professor
Brumm, Thomas
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Agricultural Education and Studies

The Department of Agricultural Education and Studies was formed in 1989 as a result of the merger of the Department of Agricultural Education with the Department of Agricultural Studies. Its focus includes two these fields: agricultural education leading to teacher-certification or outreach communication; and agricultural studies leading to production agriculture or other agricultural industries.

The Department of Agricultural Education and Studies was formed in 1989 from the merger of the Department of Agricultural Education and the Department of Agricultural Studies.

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Center for Crops Utilization Research
In the 1980s a crisis existed in American farming—a crisis of overproduction, underutilization, and decreasing international market share for raw commodities. Also, the United States’ growing dependence on imported oil and long-term forecasts for increasing oil prices put America at risk. To address this crisis, Center for Crops Utilization Research (CCUR) was established in 1984 through a special appropriation from the Iowa legislature. The center was tasked to respond to the urgent need to improve America’s agricultural competitiveness. Four decades later, there are new opportunities to increase demand for Iowa’s crops. Consumer demand is increasing for new healthful food ingredients, biobased alternatives to petroleum-based products, and sustainable and environmentally friendly industrial processes. The rapid advancement of new food processing technologies and industrial biotechnology enable those demands to be met in an economically viable way. While CCUR’s core mission of increasing demand for Iowa crops remains relevant, the center is also taking these opportunities to grow our connection with companies and entrepreneurs to help them to test, troubleshoot, and optimize their ideas in an industrial-friendly setting.
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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Since 1905, the Department of Agricultural Engineering, now the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE), has been a leader in providing engineering solutions to agricultural problems in the United States and the world. The department’s original mission was to mechanize agriculture. That mission has evolved to encompass a global view of the entire food production system–the wise management of natural resources in the production, processing, storage, handling, and use of food fiber and other biological products.

In 1905 Agricultural Engineering was recognized as a subdivision of the Department of Agronomy, and in 1907 it was recognized as a unique department. It was renamed the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering in 1990. The department merged with the Department of Industrial Education and Technology in 2004.

Dates of Existence

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  • Department of Agricultural Engineering (1907–1990)

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Agricultural Education and StudiesCenter for Crops Utilization ResearchAgricultural and Biosystems Engineering

In 2007, a Virtual Education Center for Biorenewable Resources was initiated that offered three distance education courses, one being Biorenewable Resources and Technology (BRT) 501 – Fundamentals of Biorenewable Resources and Technology, the subject of this study. The primary objective was to determine if course delivery method (video lecture format and the other in menu-driven auto-tutorial presentations (MDAP) deliv¬ered via Flash format), student major (agricultural and non-agricultural), and gender influence online student learning in BRT 501. We found that BRT 501 student performance was not significantly impacted by module delivery method. Students with agricultural majors were outperformed by students with non-agricultural majors, most of whom were engineering students, on the midterm and final exams, and course grade. Gender dif¬ferences seen on the biomass-module first-attempt total quiz score disappeared for the final total quiz score on that module.


This article is from NACTA Journal 60 (2016): 27–34. Posted with permission.

Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2016