Turf School Pilot Grows Online

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Our Academic Tech projects aren't just products we create and hand over -- we look for opportunities to grow the skills of educators and program staff along the way.  The online Great Lakes Turf School is a great example.  The project created a multimedia online program integrating collaboration and interaction to enrich and advance the work of Extension Educators.  It also prepared and empowered them to continue moving forward.

Online Program: Great Lakes Turf School

What started off as a pilot program for Extension’s turf team grew to something much, much bigger, with infrastructure and tools from the University. There are 85 turf professionals from the region enrolled in this 10 week certificate-based program. The sessions are delivered via Google Hangout on Air embedded into a Moodle course, which is used for enrollment, organization, and communication purposes. Ten internationally renowned turfgrass faculty from across the region deliver content and participate in panels via Hangouts on Air each week, live from 6-8pm. The Extension Educators organizing and facilitating this course had no experience with Moodle or Google Hangouts on Air, and in fact did not know what tools to utilize after their small “pilot” idea, intended for 10-15 participants, took off. They have since been given the support and training to grow on their own.

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This project was selected through the Extension e-Learning Proposal Process. We work with Extension Educators, Program Staff, and Faculty who offer training or education, like the Turf and Ground Field Day, Equine Demonstrations, the Local Foods College, the Serve it Up Safely Course, and the Master Gardener Core Course. They are ready to expand their reach, make education more accessible, and/or collaborate with colleagues and community members at a distance. If this is you and you’re ready for help, contact us for a consultation or propose a project!

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