Agronomy Essentials Registration Open
Recipient of 2015 Award for Excellence in Distance Learning for Professional Development
Next course begins September 30. Registration opens August 5.
This year, Purdue University’s Department of Agronomy expanded outreach into the world of online education for professionals. Agronomy Essentials, the inaugural course within Agronomy e-Learning Academy, was designed by Bruce Erickson, PhD to meet the needs of professionals in all areas of agriculture. It was the 2015 recipient of Purdue University’s Award for Excellence in Distance Learning for professional development.
With the first course offering successfully completed and the second underway, the course will be offered again from September 30 through December 23. By request, Agronomy Essentials, which provides broad-based agronomic knowledge for professionals in agriculture, will be repeated in 2016 with three course offerings, the first beginning in mid-January.
The 12-week Agronomy Essentials course, comprised of six major units of study, is a professional, non-college credit course that provides a comprehensive baseline understanding of agronomy for farmers and employees of agricultural service and supply companies. Housed on Purdue’s Blackboard Learn, the course material is accessible on any computer or mobile device with internet access. Certificates of Completion and 25 Certified Crop Advisor continuing education units are awarded to those who successfully complete the course.
Results from the first post-course survey were encouraging, with the following quotes as a small sampling of statements by participants:
“This was an all-around world-class online course for those seeking knowledge
from an expert in the field of agronomy and agriculture.”
“I really enjoyed the course, but I didn’t expect anything less from Purdue! I
look forward to more courses be offered.”
“The course content is excellent and is presented very well by the instructors.
Their presentation method easily maintains your attention.”
Agronomy Essentials includes 26 modules that delve into agronomic specifics. The course begins with a detailed study of soil and proceeds by tracing the growing process from soil preparation and seed selection through marketing the crop. Agronomy Essentials offers 100 professionally produced HD teaching videos to provide the core knowledge. The video format is accompanied by additional reading, glossaries, and graphics to help illustrate concepts. This multiple pronged approach aims to appeal to different learning styles and maximize retention of the knowledge.
Course units, each with approximately four modules, are released every two weeks and remain online for participants to review throughout the rest of the course. An alternative schedule is available for those who wish to follow a more accelerated schedule through the course.
Agronomy Essentials promotes important knowledge that will expand the learner’s understanding and communication skills, leading to greater career effectiveness. More knowledgeable employees benefit customers as well as employers.
With Agronomy Essentials serving as the inaugural step in distance education, it will be followed by other specialized courses designed to meet the needs of agricultural professionals and their employers. The online course pipeline includes two future courses, “Nutrient Management” and “Precision Agriculture”. The first of these more advanced courses, “Precision Agriculture”, will be released in January 2016.
To learn more about Agronomy Essentials and other agronomy e-Learning courses, click the e-Learning Academy link above.
Agronomy Distance Education
The business of growing crops has become increasingly complicated in recent years, as agriculture has been challenged with growing demands to increase production while minimizing the environmental impact. New technologies and a knowledge-based future will demand a more thorough understanding of the whole production system.
Our world-class subject matter experts have long provided their expertise using distance education technology—by printed materials, traveling off campus to meetings and field days, through the radio and Internet. But technology keeps providing additional capability to reach learners. Purdue Agronomy is launching courses specifically designed to meet the needs of learners off campus.
Students enrolled in classes will work toward a Certificate of Completion that will be awarded upon the successful completion of the online quizzes and/or the final exam. The level of proficiency to earn a certificate will be determined by the instructor. Course content will be packaged into an online Learning Management System where students can access modules that feature recorded video segments, interactive learning tools, reading materials, graphics, and an assessment to gauge comprehension of the materials. Courses will be offered in specific time periods, but students will be allowed the flexibility to learn on their own time and wherever they have access to the Internet through a computer, tablet, or mobile device.