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Extension Education

Evan Anderson
Horticultural Extension Agent
DeFuniak Springs


Due to restrictions on in-person events due to COVID-19, many County Extension activities have been required to transition to an online or virtual delivery method. The number of clientele requiring assistance from Extension has not diminished - it has, in fact, increased as Walton County is the fastest-growing county in Florida and one of the fastest in the nation (the population rose from 55,000 to 75,000 between 2010 and 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, an increase of 34.6%). Master Gardener Volunteers have been unable to attend in-person office duties, meetings, and trainings, and many are unable to utilize technology to participate in online versions of these events. To help bolster volunteer numbers in a safe manner and ensure that new volunteers are able to navigate the virtual landscape that Extension has had to become part of, the agent conducted a new Master Gardener Volunteer training class online. Using the Canvas system, designed and utilized by the University of Florida for online educational courses, the agent presented a training curriculum to nine new volunteers.

The course offered included presentations via Zoom with a variety of guest speakers on numerous topics, each of which was recorded. Volunteers were expected to attend live, but these lectures were also recorded for students to watch again or to view if they were unable to attend. Furthermore, presentation slides were available for perusal at the students' convenience. The Canvas system offered the ability to create and manage discussion boards for volunteers to discuss each week's lessons, assignments that included plant identification lists and links to more information about the plants, quizzes to test individuals' knowledge on those lists, and quizzes to be used as evaluative measures for each week's lessons. As a platform for online learning, Canvas kept all the information students needed in one place, from the course syllabus to Zoom links for each lecture.

Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted for judging. It will be displayed at the AM/PIC if not selected as a State winner. The abstract will be published in the proceedings.

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Authors: E. Anderson
  1. Anderson, E. Horticultural Extension Agent, UF/IFAS, Florida, 32433