Date of Graduation

5-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Agricultural & Extension Education (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Agricultural Education, Communications and Technology

Advisor

Leslie D. Edgar

Committee Member

Casandra Cox

Second Committee Member

Donald M. Johnson

Third Committee Member

Dennis Beck

Abstract

Currently, a need exists for agricultural education programs to begin introducing new curriculum which will help meet the current and future needs of the agricultural industry. In 2010, the University of Arkansas Agricultural and Extension Education Department received grant funding for the development of curriculum relating directly to visual communications technology and its role in agricultural communications. Curriculum was developed and teachers across the state were asked to participate in implementing the program. The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the knowledge levels of students prior to being taught agricultural communications curriculum, after the curriculum was taught, and again after students participated in a day-long experiential learning activity utilizing the skills taught throughout the curriculum; students' perceptions were also assessed. Additionally, a content analysis was completed to assess the ability of students to apply skills learned in the curriculum. Eleven schools participated in the study. A significant difference was seen in test scores for each curriculum (photography, writing, and videography) unit. Overall, students had positive perceptions of the curriculum and the experiential learning activity. Also, the content analysis showed that students were able to apply skills taught via the curriculum and successfully conveyed stories and messages by producing short promotional videos about agriculture. The study found that the curriculum was successful in increasing student knowledge of visual communications as it relates to agricultural communications.

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