Introduction: Five-minute Impact Strategies for Engaging Students—Where to Start with Service-learning and Fundraising Workshop

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Brian W. Trader 1Longwood Gardens, Inc., P.O. Box 501, Kennett Square, PA 19348

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Kent D. Kobayashi 2Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences Department, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 3190 Maile Way, St. John 102, Honolulu, HI 96822

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Student engagement involves complex and multidimensional processes. The behavioral and psychological components of student engagement can help to explain student success and to understand and improve student learning outcomes (Finn and Zimmer, 2012). Student engagement takes place when students make a psychological investment in learning (Newmann, 1992). Students demonstrate engagement through actively participating in the learning process, class attendance, class participation, submitting required work, and involvement in the learning environment (Miller et al., 2011).

Student engagement has an important influence on achievement and learning in higher education (Kahu, 2013). Increased student engagement can improve critical thinking, enhance openness to diversity, and facilitate openness to challenge (Miller et al., 2011). Engaged students take pride in earning formal indicators of success such as grades and informal indicators, including understanding the material and incorporating it in their lives (Newmann, 1992). Students who are engaged demonstrate sustained involvement in their education and positive emotional tone toward learning experiences (Miller et al., 2011). Student engagement can be modified through educational practices (Finn and Zimmer, 2012) and increased through various techniques such as electronic polling of students, a more learner-centered environment, active learning, reflective journaling, motivational intervention, and peer learning (Miller et al., 2011; Taylor and Parsons, 2011).

The objective of this workshop was to provide a forum to share and communicate ideas on concepts, strategies, and tips for student engagement inside and outside of the classroom. Methods of integrating students into various communities and organizations through service learning were highlighted. New opportunities for student experiential learning through innovative fundraising were explored. The emphasis was on student-centric learning and how service-learning projects, fundraising, and club travel can impact and enforce learning outcomes.

The workshop provided a diverse range of topics on student engagement with insights into service learning with local schools, a service project in rebuilding historical gardens, an immediate feedback assessment technique, and a fruit and vegetable culture course emphasizing student collaboration and teamwork. The three workshop articles “Cooperative learning to enhance horticulture skills and raise funds for professional development” (Pearson et al., 2017) highlights a horticulture club plant production project and professional development; “Using flipped classroom, bring your own device, and virtual field trip to engage students” (Kobayashi, 2017) covers using a flipped classroom and virtual field trip to engage students; and “Learning by doing: Applying the concept of pollen viability in a horticulture classroom” (Perez, 2017) deals with understanding by doing—engaging in inquiry-based learning.

The first article “Cooperative learning to enhance horticulture skills and raise funds for professional development” reports on innovative fundraising for a student organization. It provides an overview of a student-based cooperative education program that has successfully been used to enhance student learning opportunities and enrich academic programming. Secondly, “Using flipped classroom, bring your own device, and virtual field trip to engage students” discusses the flipped classroom approach and the virtual field trip to supplement traditional classroom lecturing. Students bringing laptops or mobile devices to class play an integral part in the flipped classroom. Student learning is enhanced through each student doing an individual tour of an agricultural enterprise (virtual field trip). Lastly, “Learning by doing: Applying the concept of pollen viability in a horticulture classroom” about engaging students in inquiry-based learning examines the use of a pollen viability in-class activity to demonstrate this technique. It encompasses a lecture, a starter activity, and a simple inquiry activity in which students collaborate to assess pollen viability. A starter activity is an opening activity used to arouse the students’ curiosity and get them on task immediately.

Articles from this workshop highlight some leading teaching practices. They help to provide insights into additional opportunities to engage students on a deeper level. These connections aid student learning through meaningful learning experiences.

Literature cited

  • Finn, J.D. & Zimmer, K.S. 2012 Student engagement: What is it? Why does it matter? p. 97–131. In: S.L. Christenson, A.L. Reschly, and C. Wylie (eds.). Handbook on research on student engagement. Springer, New York, NY

  • Kahu, E.R. 2013 Framing student engagement in higher education Stud. High. Educ. 38 758 773

  • Kobayashi, K.D. 2017 Using flipped classroom and virtual field trips to engage students HortTechnology 27 458 460

  • Miller R.L., Amsel E., Kowalewski B.M., Beins B.C., Keith K.D. & Peden B.F. 2011 Promoting student engagement (vol. 1): Programs, techniques and opportunities. 25 May 2016. <http://teachpsych.org/ebooks/pse2011/vol1/index.php>

  • Newmann, F.M. 1992 Student engagement and achievement in American secondary schools. Teachers College Press, New York, NY

  • Pearson, B.J., Moore, K. & Barrett, J. 2017 Cooperative learning to enhance horticulture skills and raise funds for professional development HortTechnology 27 455 457

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  • Perez, K. 2017 Learning by doing: Applying the concept of pollen viability in a horticulture classroom HortTechnology 27 461 464

  • Taylor, L. & Parsons, J. 2011 Improving student engagement Current Issues Educ. 14 1 33

  • Finn, J.D. & Zimmer, K.S. 2012 Student engagement: What is it? Why does it matter? p. 97–131. In: S.L. Christenson, A.L. Reschly, and C. Wylie (eds.). Handbook on research on student engagement. Springer, New York, NY

  • Kahu, E.R. 2013 Framing student engagement in higher education Stud. High. Educ. 38 758 773

  • Kobayashi, K.D. 2017 Using flipped classroom and virtual field trips to engage students HortTechnology 27 458 460

  • Miller R.L., Amsel E., Kowalewski B.M., Beins B.C., Keith K.D. & Peden B.F. 2011 Promoting student engagement (vol. 1): Programs, techniques and opportunities. 25 May 2016. <http://teachpsych.org/ebooks/pse2011/vol1/index.php>

  • Newmann, F.M. 1992 Student engagement and achievement in American secondary schools. Teachers College Press, New York, NY

  • Pearson, B.J., Moore, K. & Barrett, J. 2017 Cooperative learning to enhance horticulture skills and raise funds for professional development HortTechnology 27 455 457

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Perez, K. 2017 Learning by doing: Applying the concept of pollen viability in a horticulture classroom HortTechnology 27 461 464

  • Taylor, L. & Parsons, J. 2011 Improving student engagement Current Issues Educ. 14 1 33

Brian W. Trader 1Longwood Gardens, Inc., P.O. Box 501, Kennett Square, PA 19348

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Kent D. Kobayashi 2Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences Department, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 3190 Maile Way, St. John 102, Honolulu, HI 96822

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Contributor Notes

This article was part of the workshop “Five-minute Impact Strategies for Engaging Students—Where to Start with Service-learning and Fundraising?” held on 4 Aug. 2015 at the ASHS Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, and sponsored by the Teaching Methods (TCHG) Working Group.

Corresponding author. E-mail: kentko@hawaii.edu.

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