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SMARTFARM learning hub: Next generation precision agriculture technologies for agricultural education


Trotter, M and Cosby, A and Trotter, T and Gregory, S and Acuna, T and Fasso, W, SMARTFARM learning hub: Next generation precision agriculture technologies for agricultural education, Transforming Practice through Innovation and Partnerships, 7 December 2016, Launceston, Tasmania (2016) [Conference Extract]

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The industry demands on higher education of agricultural students are rapidly changing. New precision agriculture technologies are revolutionising the farming industry but the education sector is failing to keep pace (Rural Research and Development Council 2011). We report on the development of the SMARTfarm Learning Hub that will increase the skill base of students using a range of new agricultural technologies and innovations (Cosby and Trotter 2014). The Hub is funded by the Department of Education and Training (formerly the Office for Learning and Teaching) and is a world first; it links real local and global industry technologies with educator resources and student learning packages. This gives higher education providers and their studentís online access to data and systems from commercial scale smart-farms across Australia and the world.

The SMARTfarm Learning Hub project will integrate infrastructure (web site and industry tools) with the development of case study learning modules, methodologies and templates to enable project communication. This will be undertaken in an action research context providing both research outcomes and critical feedback to improve the learning modules, educator and student experience (HREC H0016116). Preliminary feedback from students indicate that 83% of students reported that they are likely to use the knowledge developed in the practical sessions in their future employment (n = 37). Further studies will be undertaken that determines employer perceptions of the value of skills gained by students through participation in SMARTfarm Learning Hub modules.

The SMARTfarm Learning Hub is based around a central landing page that provides links to cloud based technologies across Australia and the globe. Participating universities have farms with a diverse range of enterprises and environmental conditions from highly productive dairy systems in Tasmania to tropical beef production in North Queensland and the arid rangelands of New Mexico. This is real data from real agricultural landscapes, and is matched with learning materials developed to challenge studentís critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:higher education, technology
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:Science, technology and engineering curriculum and pedagogy
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Teaching and curriculum
Objective Field:Assessment, development and evaluation of curriculum
UTAS Author:Acuna, T (Associate Professor Tina Acuna)
ID Code:118273
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:Agriculture and Food Systems
Deposited On:2017-07-08
Last Modified:2017-07-12

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