Sherrill Cooper's Thesis Presentation

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Sherrill Cooper's Thesis Presentation

We invite you to attend the Thesis Presentation of Sherill Cooper, a Doctor of Philosophy candidate within the School of Business, in the Faculty of Arts, Business and Law.

Title: Key factors associated with the effective use of Internet based extension (IBE) tools by farmers in Queensland horticulture.

Presenter: Sherill Cooper

When: Monday 11 June, 11am-12pm

Where: Building E, 1.04

Abstract: In order to remain viable and competitive, farmers need accurate, timely and relevant information to effectively manage and adapt their farming processes and resolve critical issues. Farmers commonly seek this agricultural information through extension (rural advisory) services and through the Internet. While many farmers have access to various IBE tools using agricultural based websites and Web 2.0 technologies, not enough is known about the uptake and effectiveness of these tools.

This research explores the key factors influencing Queensland horticultural farmers’ adoption and effective use of IBE tools using Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovations Theory and case study methodology across the avocado, macadamia, pineapple and strawberry industry groups. The findings of this research study reveal that farmers have limited awareness of the existence of IBE tools. With the exception of weather sites, farmers in this research study believe that IBE tools are out of date, irrelevant, not useful, or difficult to find and use.

This thesis argues that IBE tools are too difficult for farmers to use effectively and they will continue using their current methods unless IBE tools are better designed, promoted and supported. By assessing the usability and effectiveness of existing IBE tools and providing guidelines for further development of these tools, this research has the potential to improve farmers’ decision-making and Internet based extension services.

Bio: Sherrill has been a lecturer and tutor at USC, CQU, and UC teaching courses mainly in information systems and business. Sherrill has also taught enabling and TPP courses at USC and fashion at CSIT; she has also been an academic skills advisor, an indigenous academic mentor, research assistant, and worked in CSALT. Previously, Sherrill worked as a business analyst, systems analyst and a project manager in the IT industry and was a director of a SME on the Sunshine Coast. Sherrill’s tertiary qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts in Computing Studies, Graduate Diploma of Information Systems Management and Master of Information Systems. Sherrill’s research stems from her business and information systems background and her keen interest in social informatics.

Should you have any questions about this event please contact FABHDR@usc.edu.au.

We look forward to seeing you there.

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