Plant diagnosis is the primary challenge in this online course, historically taught in a classroom with traditional laboratory equipment available for hands-on instruction of these processes. The steps of the scientific method when applied to plant diagnosis include macro observation of signs and symptoms in a sample plant, followed by a series of tests, development of a hypothesis, research and confirmation of the hypothesis and diagnosis. A learning outcome of this course is for students to learn to effectively apply the steps in the diagnosis process.
A 3D interactive environment that aids students in simulating the experience of diagnosing a plant disease, in this case of tomato, enables students to apply what they learn though traditional web content (text, image and video) toward the diagnostic process. Students actively make micro and macro observations of a plant, make notes in a digital notebook, run tests at a variety of equipment stations, and search the possibilities in the plant host index. This interactive simulation guides students through the diagnostic process, from observation to creating a hypothesis, to running tests and finalizing their diagnosis. Instructional videos are provided at each of the testing stations.
Plant Pathology vLab Simulation: