The Texas Master Gardener program: an assessment of curriculum delivery and contribution to community development
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Extension programs across the nation have been given the task of education and outreach to citizens of their respective states. Master Gardener programs have been seen as a way to provide horticultural education, while also providing outreach using the programÂs service requirement. Extension professionals have used a variety of training methods throughout the years. These methods include face-to-face workshop trainings, interactive television, and more recently World Wide Web methodologies. This study sought to test the effectiveness of CD-based training materials versus a traditional face-to-face training. Turfgrass management modules chosen for testing in this study included nutrient, water, and pest topics. ParticipantsÂ knowledge levels were measured using a pre-test/post-test design. Student satisfaction with the learning materials and their perceptions of lawn care also were measured during the study. Results indicated that CD-based materials were more effective than were face-to- face workshops for teaching difficult turfgrass material to the Master Gardener trainees. Community development is one of the four focus areas for Texas Cooperative Extension. A secondary purpose was to determine if the Master Gardener program affected community development. Descriptive statistics were used to compare participantsÂ past experiences with their anticipated experiences after completion of the Master Gardener program. Results indicated that community development activities were being completed, but the extent and type of development could not be measured. This study revealed several surprising and far-reaching implications for extension programming. These implications and recommendations for improvement of extension programs are discussed further. Recommendations for additional research also are included.
Mayfield, Chyrel Ann (2004). The Texas Master Gardener program: an assessment of curriculum delivery and contribution to community development. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from