Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Harkess, Richard L.

Committee Member

Perkins, Andy D.

Committee Member

Bi, Guihong

Committee Member

Reddy, K. Raja

Committee Member

Cox, Michael S.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access



Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Plant and Soil Sciences


In today’s increasingly fast-moving, complex, and competitive world, the need for flexibility and creativity in teaching and learning is crucial. For that reason, innovative educational methods should be introduced. In education, web-based learning and portable devices are emerging as teaching and learning aids which can be efficient and effective tools. Learning use and identification of ornamental plants are the main objectives of the plant materials courses offered by Department of Plant and Soils Sciences at Mississippi State University (MSU). The professors, teaching assistants (TA), and students use the MSU gardens to study and identify ornamental plant species. This can be time consuming for both instructors and students. This research developed an automated web-based database system to deliver information on the ornamental plants in the MSU gardens. Apache, MySQL, PHP, JavaScript, Dreamweaver, and Photoshop software were used to develop this application in the Windows environment and information about each plant was entered into the database. Plant locations were given by longitude and latitude coordinates and linked to Google maps. Quick Response codes(QR code) were created to directly access ornamental plant information at the field. This database may function as a virtual TA for the plant materials courses and as an information source for the public. Users can search the ornamental plant information and determine the location of plants using a computer or mobile device. Plant information can be retrieved from the field by a smart phone with a QR code reader. To evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of developed automated system, an experimental study and questionnaire survey were designed.