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S. Kitto and L. Griffiths

The course “Biotechnology: Science and Socioeconomic Issues” has used problem-based learning (PBL) during the last quarter of the course for the past 3 years. One of the challenges of using PBL in medium-sized and larger classes is finding a way to facilitate each group of students with a limited number of qualified facilitators while avoiding unmanageably large numbers of students per group. This past year (95F) the course had both a nonhonor's and an honor's section. The honor's section met an additional hour each week to learn about PBL and peer tutoring skills. Training students to be peer tutors was divided up into four parts: 1) the science behind PBL, 2) experience working through a previously developed case study, 3) development of a case study, and 4) peer tutoring case studies in the non-honor's section. We will discuss the process of training students to be effective peer tutors for PBL.

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S.L. Kitto, L. Griffiths, J. Pesek, E. Mackenzie, and K. Bauer

In 1997, we added distance students to a traditional, classroom-taught biotechnology course. To reach distance students, we used a multimedia approach: lectures via videotapes and problem-based learning exercises (PBL) via the Internet. About a third of the course was taught using PBL. The major challenge of the course was to teach the PBL segments to distance and traditional students working in groups. We explored ways to use multimedia technology that would allow distance students to participate in the PBL segments of the course. To assess the effectiveness of the methods used in this project, we compared the distance students with traditional students using measures of perceived and actual knowledge of biotechnology. The student–student interactive PBL segments were challenging because the traditional students were working in “real time” and the distance students were working in “distance time.” Distance students did as well as in the course as traditional students; however, management of groups composed of distance and traditional students was challenging. PBL could probably be used more effectively and successfully with student groups composed solely of distance students.

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Ann Marie VanDerZanden, David Sandrock, and David Kopsell

resources. Course management programs such as WebCT (Blackboard Inc., Washington, DC) and other related software are making it easier and less expensive to create online problem-based learning scenarios for students. Literature cited Beidler, K. Iles, J

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Robert P. Rice Jr.

California Polytechnic State University's (Cal Poly) learn-by-doing philosophy permeates all areas of the environmental horticultural science curriculum by combining an emphasis on the science of horticulture in lecture sessions and the opportunity to engage in activities similar to those used by industry in the lab activities integral in all courses. The course, Disease and Pest Control Systems in Ornamental Plants (EHS 427), has taken this philosophy a step further by using problem-based learning and allowing students to function as pest control advisors and qualified applicators in the class. This approach has resulted in greatly increased student understanding of pest control, improved student morale, and increased interest in integrated pest management careers and research projects.

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Marci Spaw, Kimberly A. Williams, Laurie Hodges, Ellen T. Paparozzi, and Ingrid L. Mallberg

education and the case method Journalism Mass Communications Educator 55 49 59 Johnson, E. Herd, S. Andrewartha, K. Jones, S. Malcolm, S. 2002 Introducing problem-based learning into a traditional lecture course Biochem. Mol. Biol. Educ. 30 121 124 Lane, L

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Anita Nina Azarenko

A situation-based or modified case study approach to learning has been adopted in an upper division fruit production course that is taught at Oregon State University in the Department of Horticulture. A new case study, which will have a high probability of generating discussion on key pomological themes, is developed each term. On the first meeting day of class, students identify relevant themes in the case study. A modified jigsaw cooperative learning strategy is then used to cover the relevant subject matter throughout the term. While using this strategy, groups of two to three students become experts on a theme and are responsible for sharing their knowledge with their peers. The instructor mentors the experts by reviewing assignments created by them, checking answers to assignments, and administering quizzes on the themes. About midterm, larger groups of six to seven students begin their preparation of an oral presentation and written synthesis of the goals and possible pathways for achieving the targets of the primary stakeholders (i.e., orchardists, field representatives, extension faculty, etc.) that are presented in the case study. The groups make their presentations to the stakeholders at the end of the term. Students are required to prepare an individual written report. This learning approach links theory with practice, gives students practice in extensively analyzing a situation, enables students to become conversant in and knowledgeable of basic pomology, builds positive relationships between fellow students, and provides multiple experiences for communicating information and student's discoveries.

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Tigon Woline and Ann Marie VanDerZanden

-centered learning and increasingly involve problem-based learning ( Jonassen, 2000 ). Recently, many medical schools have modified their curricula to include, or to be entirely based in, problem-based learning (PBL) ( Jolliffe et al., 2005 ). Practitioners of

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Robert J. Joly and W.R. Woodson

The principles of plant physiology are best learned in an environment where students are directly engaged in the process of scientific inquiry. Working from this assumption, we have developed a two-stage approach to laboratory instruction that fosters student-directed research within an undergraduate plant physiology course. During the first 10 weeks of a 16-week semester, students develop competency in measuring physiological variables by using an array of standard analytical techniques. A core set of 10 laboratory experiments provides structured instruction and teaches the principles of modern physiological analyses. During week 11, students observe a demonstration of a plant response, where the underlying cause of the phenomenon is not evident. Working together in groups of three or four, students hypothesize on the physiological mechanisms that may be involved. After submitting a statement of hypothesis and a plan of study, each group then requests the necessary instrumentation, plant material and greenhouse and/or growth chamber space to conduct their experiments. Results of their experimentation are presented during week 15 in both written and oral formats. The approach appears to help students to integrate and connect learnings from earlier in the semester to solve a defined problem. Further, students learn how to judge the reliability of experimental results and to evaluate whether conclusions drawn are justified by the data.

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Elsa Sánchez and Richard Craig

understanding and effective communication are important outcomes of problem-based learning ( Duch, 1996 ). Laboratory sessions. Students complete 15 laboratory sessions. The first two sessions focus on identification and the proper terminology for vegetative and

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Elsa Sánchez and Richard Craig

systematics by becoming more proficient on a particular plant family. To effectively communicate, student instructors must have a thorough understanding of the concepts they are teaching, which is an important outcome of problem-based learning ( Duch, 1996