A collaborative two-part project between Iowa State University Horticulture Extension and the Iowa Nursery and Landscape Association (INLA) resulted in an online, asynchronous training program to prepare green industry professionals for the Iowa Certified Nursery Professional (ICNP) exam, and to provide advanced training through webinars. Since 2008, members have accessed a set of 20 training modules that cover plant identification and content on the written portion of the certification exam. In the 6 years since the modules have been used, the pass rate for the written portion of the exam has increased from 57% (2005–07, 18 participants) to 85% (2008–13, 49 participants). A survey administered to participants between 2008 and 2013 gathered information on participant demographics, interest in learning in an online format, usefulness and applicability of information in preparing for the exam, module usability, and how the modules impacted their learning. Participants felt that the modules were an effective way to deliver content (4.45 out of 5) and reported they were comfortable using a web-based format to learn (4.89 out of 5). Advanced training was delivered to members through three webinar series: five webinars in 2011 and four webinars each in 2012 and 2013. Although attendance to the live webinar sessions was limited, the archived versions have been accessed a number of times.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/annmarie-vanderzanden/13/