Pennington, K., Calico, C., Edgar, L.D., Edgar, D.W., and Johnson, D.M. (2015). Knowledge and perceptions of visual communications curriculum in Arkansas secondary agricultural classrooms: A Closer Look at Experiential Learning Integrations. Journal of Agricultural Education, 56(2), 27-42. doi: 10.5032/jae.2015.02027
The University of Arkansas developed and integrated visual communications curriculum related to agricultural communications into secondary agricultural programs throughout the state. The curriculum was developed, pilot tested, revised, and implemented by selected secondary agriculture teachers. The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate students’ knowledge prior to the program, after the curriculum was taught, and after participation in a day-long experiential learning activity utilizing skills and competencies taught in the curriculum. This study also assessed students’ perceptions of the program and application of skills and competencies learned in the curriculum through a content analysis of short promotional videos created in the program. Eleven schools participated in the study with 106 students represented. Analysis of student test scores noted a significant effect between pre-, post-, and/or delayed-post scores for each curriculum unit (photography, writing, and videography). Overall, students had positive perceptions of the curriculum and the experiential (mobile classroom) learning activity. The content analysis noted that students were able to apply skills and competencies taught in the curriculum through short promotional videos about agriculture. This study found that the curriculum was successful in increasing student knowledge of visual communications as it relates to agricultural communications, and recommendations are made for curriculum revisions and improvements.