ERIC Number: EJ889326
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 16
Online Learning Modules for an Extension Program: Useful and Utilized?
Crimmins, Theresa M.; Rupprecht, Candice L.
Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education, v39 p102-108 2010
A set of publicly available online learning modules was created as an educational supplement to a university extension program. Because the modules created for this program--like many online modules developed as a part of university outreach--are supplementary to programs featuring in-person instruction and hard-copy materials, it is not required that they be completed. An exploratory evaluation aimed to determine whether program participants make use of the non-compulsory modules and whether the modules are effective in helping participants to gain a greater understanding of watershed concepts. Such findings may extend to similar supplementary online learning experiences being developed through university extension and other similar programs. Participants in the evaluation demonstrated a greater than 30% increase in content knowledge from pre-test scores to post-test scores; 70% of participants retained this knowledge through a 2-month follow-up test. Participants also provided very positive feedback regarding their experience with the modules. Online usage statistics indicated sustained site visitation for many months following the modules' release and advertisement. Modules were found to be an asset to the hard-copy text used for the extension course. Evaluators expressed appreciation for interactive learning objects and seemed to use the modules over time as a ready reference. However, the modules are clearly not a substitute for in-person instruction. Overall, the exploratory evaluation indicated that the modules were a welcome supplement to the course and were effective in reinforcing key concepts. (Contains 4 tables and 1 figure.)
Descriptors: Electronic Learning, Learning Modules, Extension Education, Instructional Effectiveness, Instructional Material Evaluation
American Society of Agronomy. 677 South Segoe Road, Madison, WI 53711. Tel: 608-273-8080; Fax: 608-273-2021; Web site: http://www.jnrlse.org/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arizona