Introduction to (Plant) Diagnostics for Master Gardeners – Online Module

Introduction to Diagnostics for Master Gardener Volunteers: Approaches to Plant Pest Diagnostics is a new online module available for Extension Master Gardeners through eXtension.

About the Module

Sponsored by the North Central Consumer Horticulture working group (a group of extension specialists and master gardener coordinators from the twelve state North Central region), this course is now available for Extension Master Gardeners to take as continuing education for a $10 fee and self-paced, ten week duration. Participants will earn a certificate for 3 hours of continuing education credits when the course is complete (check with your local Extension Master Gardener coordinator to see if this continuing education credit applies in your county or state).

Module Components

Denise Ellsworth and Sarah Ellis of Ohio State University have assembled this course on behalf of the North Central Consumer Horticulture working group to offer Extension Master Gardeners some guided help to enhance their plant diagnostics skills. The course has several course components:

  • Narrated PowerPoint presentations
  • Handouts
  • Fact sheets
  • Certificate worth 3 continuing education credits (upon completion)

How To Enroll:

1)Visit the eXtension website,
2) Set up an eXtension Moodle account:

  • “Create an account” link (top, left side of the page) via the secure connection.
  • Once you have that account created, you will receive an e-mail with a confirmation and a password. Follow the instructions in the email to complete your account set-up.
  • Remember your login and password, so you can access this or other future courses.

3)Login in to the course

  • After you create an account, log into eXtension Moodle ( ) . Find the log in entry at the top, left side of page, where you first created the account.
  • Scroll through the available course categories and select Master Gardener (under Yard and Garden).

4)Pay for the course using PayPal (Course fee is $10.00)
Note: You do not need a PayPal account to pay by credit card (see comments section for more information)

5)View the course and get started

Module Flyer

Want to spread the word about this module? See the module flyer:
Introduction to Diagnostics for Master Gardener Volunteers: Approaches to Plant Pest Diagnostics

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26 Responses to “Introduction to (Plant) Diagnostics for Master Gardeners – Online Module”

  1. Gail Lee says:

    I love this. Thanks! Gail

  2. Cheryl Best says:

    My son does lawn and landscape work for a company that furnishes housing for people with special needs. He is always trying to learn more about caring for plants. Is this course open to anyone or to only master gardener volunteers?

    Cheryl Best

  3. Karen Jeannette says:

    Cheryl, yes, your son would be welcome to the take the module, too. While it’s designed for Extension Master Gardener volunteer training, it is open for all to take. This module discusses approaches (what to consider) in the plant pest diagnostics process and is a good pre-cursor to further diagnostic training, particularly plant/pest ID training found in local Extension Master Gardener volunteer programming, and perhaps other plant pest identification modules/courses you may encounter.

  4. Karen Jeannette says:

    Gail, I’m glad to hear you like this. I assume you started to take the module? Is there anything particularly useful you’ve found or would like to share?

  5. Carolyn Gordon says:

    Would this course be relevant to a Western Washington (state) clientele?

  6. Mary Jane Bohall says:

    I will be travelling in March and have laptop with internet access, but not printer, etc. Would I be able to print off all the handouts and fact sheets before March 10 to take with me? I am really interested in this course, but am not sure about the logistics while traveling. I should have time to complete the coursework. (And, just wondering, will there be exams and/or papers & research?) Thanks.

  7. Karen Jeannette says:

    Mary Jane, yes, you can print all the handouts out for this course ahead of time. There are a few self-tests you’ll need to access online to complete, and some videos to view. If you have an Internet connection, I would imagine you’d be able to finish the course while you are away. The only caveat being your internet access speed, I would imagine the course videos will run smoothly as long as you have a broadband/high speed connection. I’m not sure about dial-up.

    Problems or constraints regarding this course may also be worked through with the instructor. Thank you for your questions.

  8. Karen Jeannette says:

    This comment is response to Carolyn Gordon’s question, from instructor Denise Ellsworth:

    Hi Carolyn,

    Karen Jeannette asked me to respond to your question about the “Introduction to diagnostics” module and whether I thought it would be beneficial for a western audience. While some of the examples are specific to the Midwestern states, the concepts are definitely applicable for Master Gardeners in a wider region. I think Washington MGs would find the program helpful as they think through their approaches to diagnostic questions. Please let me know if you have more specific questions that I can answer.

  9. Madelynn Wilharm says:

    I will be out of town until mid-MaArch. Can I begin the module when I return?

  10. Mary Jane Bohall says:

    Is it possible to pay for this class with a check or credit card? We do not have a pay pal account and we do not want to give our bank information to pay pal which is required even if we have pay pal paid with a credit card. HELP, HELP!

  11. Poppy Irwin says:

    I too would love to take the class but don’t have Pay pay either and do not want to set up an account just for this purpose. If I could use a credit card to pay, I’d sign up.

  12. Larry Lippke says:

    You do not need a PayPal account to register for the Diagnostics course. When the PayPal login screen appears, you will find a link just below the login block that says “Don’t have a PayPal account?” Select that link, and you will be able to pay by credit or debit card.

  13. Would the CEU’s be applicable for either a Certified Arborist or an ODA Commercial Pesticide Applicator (6A-Ornamental) ? Regardless, this sounds like a great resource. Thanks.

  14. carol kelleher says:

    is this course still available today april 28th?

  15. Karen Jeannette says:

    Yes, the course is available continually.

  16. ricardo mori says:

    good day

    I would like to do the course online, only in Brazil that I am – Sao Paulo, and wondered what should I do to pay the fee and be able to participate,

    Thank you for your attention


  17. 9/2/11 I will be traveling quite a bit the next three months and wish to know if any of the course are time sensitive. I would prefer to work on the course when I am home, however, would like to understand what type a time committment is involved. thank you I appreciate any information you can share.

  18. WART Wickramaarachchi says:

    I am a scientist working under Sri Lanka Department of Agriculture. Can I register and follow this online course.

    Introduction to (Plant) Diagnostics for Master Gardeners – Online Module

    Please let me know the possibility.

  19. Karen Jeannette says:

    Yes, you may. This course is open for anyone to take. Once you enroll, you have 90 days to complete the course.

  20. Hannah says:

    Is this course still available?

  21. Karen Jeannette says:

    HI Hannah,

    Yes, this course is continually open for enrollment. Once you enroll, you have 90 days to complete the module.

  22. Audrey Pennington says:

    Is the material applicable to hot, humid climates of the Southeast?

  23. Kathy Schwab says:

    What is covered in this series? I am particularly interested in diseases of red raspberries and vegetables.

  24. Karen Jeannette says:

    Hello Kathy,

    Thank you for your question about the Intro to Online Diagnostics course.

    It is more an overview of the process and the types of questions you need to ask to identify plant problems. It would be a very helpful support module before learning specific plant and pest problems, like red raspberries and vegetables.

  25. Kenn Trout says:

    I completed the Diagnostics module last week; am wondering when and how I should be expecting a certificate or other form of confirmation.

  26. Rosalie Perry says:

    How long is each module…30, 45, or 90 minutes? And am I to understand that there are 10 distinct modules or does it just mean that you have 10 weeks to complete? If you don’t complete in 10 weeks must you pay again?