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Tag Archives: 3D

A view of a crop field

Oregon State’s online degree in crop and soil science emphasizes advanced technologies

Driven by a slew of innovative technologies to teach course concepts, Oregon State University this spring will begin offering a bachelor’s degree in crop and soil science 100 percent online. The program will be the only one of its kind in the nation and expects to reach an underserved audience of working professionals in rural areas who have limited access to higher education opportunities.

A screenshot of the virtual greenhouse used in Alyssa Duval's online classrooms. On the nearest table in the greenhouse, there are several potted plants with white label cards in front of them.

Virtually bringing students closer to nature

Oregon State Ecampus students are experts at adapting to their environment. They turn coffee shops into classrooms and living rooms into lecture halls. But for students taking crop science classes online, they needed a more lifelike way to learn about plants from a distance. And now they’re getting their hands “dirty” by digging into a variety of crops in a 3D virtual greenhouse.

A student uses the Ecampus-developed 3D microscope on a laptop at a coffee shop.

Big questions need big answers. That’s our strong suit.

It was a fundamental question in search of a much-needed answer: How can distance students in introductory biology courses online learn to operate a microscope without being in a physical laboratory? The simple answer was that they couldn’t. So Oregon State fixed that problem by developing a first-of-its-kind, 3D virtual microscope that increases student access to learning and eliminates a barrier to degree completion.