Evaluating the use of a web-based nitrogen cycle animation

Mark Imhof1, Gemma Heemskerk2 and Matthew Cox3

1 Agriculture Victoria, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources. 32 Lincoln Square Nth, Parkville, Victoria 3053. [email protected] 

2 Agriculture Victoria, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources. 32 Lincoln Square Nth, Parkville, Victoria 3053. [email protected] 

3 Agriculture Victoria, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources. 32 Lincoln Square Nth, Parkville, Victoria 3053. [email protected] 

Abstract

An interactive animation of the nitrogen (N) cycle, within the context of a dairy agroecosystem, is available on the Victorian Resources Online website at: http://vro.agriculture.vic.gov.au/dpi/vro/vrosite.nsf/pages/soilhealth_nitrogen-cycle. It is one of a series of animations developed to capture and communicate soil knowledge and visually explain processes that occur in the soil and landscape. Animations were created from ‘storyboards’ (a series of hand-drawn sketches that outline all the events in the animation) developed with relevant soil scientists. This is an example of harnessing tacit knowledge of scientists, and providing context, to create an information product aimed at a broad range of users. Feedback to date has highlighted the value to users involved in agricultural extension and education. User profiling (based on IP address tracking) for a three-month period in 2013 indicated that the N cycle animation was the most extensively accessed of all animations on the website. The education and government sectors were significant user groups.