the participation of 33 private land managers and public natural resource professionals in Oregon and Idaho, who collectively managed 721,000 acres of private land and 432,060 acres of public lands
50,000 acres of public and private lands improved with course concepts
15,000 acres with land management plans developed after the course
While participants valued accessing information to create maps and land management plans directly related to their goals and objectives, we discussed the possibility of gaining broader impact by converting the F2F and hybrid curriculum to online, asynchronous curriculum. By the beginning of 2020, our multi-state team grew to include five county-based Extension personnel, two Extension specialists, an evaluator, a project director, and an instructional designer.
Rationale to Remake the GEP Course as Innovative Onl ine Curr iculum
While the GEP pilot course was well received, our team realized that we could reach a broader land manager target audience by incorporating innovative technologies and curriculum development tools. For example, we had collected hundreds of short video clips, referred to as b-roll, highlighting general themes within rangeland management. We also acquired the hardware and skills to virtually immerse a course participant in a rangeland ecosystem and explore the site using 360-degree images. We were familiar with using storyboarding as a tool to develop curriculum. Ultimately, we believed that our team could strategically integrate all these resources and skills. We were encouraged that both public and private land managers were empowered by science-based information and a new skill set gained from our course. Our team wanted to produce an innovative online course that would rival the quality of either a F2F or hybrid experience.
Beginning in 2016, our team began to assemble an extensive video repository for rangeland curriculum. We organized the images and short b-roll clips into folders with the intent of incorporating them into more updated
B-roll of invasive annual grasses
modules. For example, one simple b-roll clip — shown above — includes invasive annual grasses blowing in the wind on the sagebrush steppe of southeastern Oregon. We envisioned these videos enhancing traditional narrated PowerPoint presentations. We had the equipment and skills to generate 360-degree images and panning videos that could be integrated into our course. The traditional and hybrid GEP Extension courses provided high-quality images highlighting ecological threats, but we were at a point where we could virtually place land managers at a rangeland site so they could recognize either the presence or absence of important plant functional groups.
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