| TPSS 601 Crop Modeling is a graduate level course covering the principles of modeling crop growth and development, model types, techniques, and simulation. Students learn about modeling the influence of climate/environment on the phenology and growth of horticultural crops. Scientific articles are the main source of information used in the course. However, as useful as these articles are, having only readings limits the students learning experience. To enhance active learning by students, a computer simulation software was introduced into the course. |
Initially, an IBM simulation program called CSMP (Continuous System Modeling Program) running on an IBM mainframe computer was used. This required students to learn program coding and syntax. Output from simulation runs was limited by the kinds of graphs CSMP produced. Yet, CSMP gave the students the opportunity to learn how to write, debug, and run a simulation program and to interpret and discuss the results.
Later, as simulation software became more available on personal computers, the simulation software STELLA (High Performance Systems) was used. Unlike SMP, this software presents a graphical user interface to the students. It is based on the principle of first developing a relational diagram of the system using the state variable approach. Students construct the relational diagram with icons representing state variables, rate variables, and so on with arrows and flows representing interrelated components. An advantage of a software such as STELLA, compared to CSMP, is that the students need to first formalize their conceptual model into a more formal model. Then, students supply the equations and values of parameters and constants. STELLA enables the rapid and easy running of multiple simulations with attractive graphs and tables.
Simulation software in a crop modeling course has enabled students to formulate, write, and run crop models, thus supplementing their readings. Simulation software has made possible active learning by providing hands-on experience with crop modeling, thereby enhancing student learning.
Learn more about this project by watching an interview with Kent Kobayashi.
What is the project about?
|Audio - a good option for dial-up modem users. Small video is 360 x 240 pixels. Large video is 720 x 360 pixels. Audeio and video can be viewed on a Macintosh or Windows computer using QuickTime software. Requires: Ver. 7 or higher. Download the free player |
ASHS Members can access the rest of the interview by logging in on the ASHS home page. Learn more about this project:
- How did you get started?
- What was the student reaction?
- What have you learned?
- How computer literate are your students?
- Who is likely to benefit from this?
- What's being planned for the future?