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U.K. Schuch and G.R. Nonnecke

Iowa State Univ. is committed to improve student learning and supports faculty and staff through Project LEA/RN (Learning Enhancement Action/Resource Network) workshops and continuous training. Project LEA/RN teaches cooperative learning techniques that are known to improve student interest in the subject, allow active participation, improve understanding and retention of the material, and encourage learning inside and outside the classroom. Three learning techniques that have been used successfully in our lecture and laboratory classes ranging from 20 to 100 students per class are: turn to your partner (TTYP), note-taking pairs (NTP), and jigsaw. In TTYP, the instructor asks a question and students formulate an answer individually, then share the answer with a partner, listen to the partner's answer, and finally create a new answer through discussion. NTP can be used after new material has been presented. A student compares notes with their partner, both add/correct their notes, share key points with a partner, and carefully listen to the partner's keypoints. In the jigsaw exercise, students who had the same assignment compare information they have prepared with each other and then with the entire class. In all exercises students are made accountable by the instructor who calls randomly on individuals to share their answers with the class. Examples of how to use these techniques and the interpersonal skills acquired and practiced during these exercises will be discussed.

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Stephanie Burnett and Donglin Zhang

In the past, horticulture students at the University of Maine have been taught to irrigate plants using only hand irrigation. It is becoming increasingly important to irrigate and fertilize efficiently in commercial greenhouses in order to reduce water waste and nutrient leaching. In 2004 and 2006, greenhouse management or plant production students were exposed to alternate methods of irrigating Dendranthema ×morifolium (chrysanthemum) in greenhouses to train students more effectively in irrigation techniques. In 2004, students measured the quantity of water applied to chrysanthemums once they reached the permanent wilting point from 26 Sept. until 30 Oct. The irrigation frequency generally increased as crops grew, but, the quantity of water applied upon irrigation was not significantly different. This experience provided students with a tangible idea of how irrigation frequency and timing change as crops grow, which could be applied to irrigation timing decisions in the future. In 2006, students grew a crop of chrysanthemums using alternate methods of irrigation (hand watering vs. drip irrigation) and fertilization. Student surveys in 2006 indicated that only 25% of students with previous experience working in a greenhouse or nursery had grown crops using drip irrigation, but all students with prior experience had irrigated by hand. Expanding student experiences with irrigation in the greenhouse uses active learning to instill students with more knowledge of irrigation and provide them with practical skills for irrigating efficiently and conservatively in the future.

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David R. Sandrock, Ray D. William, and Anita N. Azarenko

Nitrogen (N) management in container nurseries is part of a complex system. Working within this system, nursery owners, managers and employees routinely make N management decisions that have consequences for the immediate nursery environment (e.g., plant growth, yield, disease susceptibility, water quality) as well as areas beyond nursery boundaries (e.g., surface and groundwater quality, public perception). Research approaches often address parts of the system associated with the immediate nursery environment and purpose. As a result, best management practices that contribute to greater N use efficiency have been developed. Research approaches that consider the whole system reveal novel relationships and patterns that identify areas for future research and may direct future management decisions. To investigate N management from a whole system perspective, a group of nursery managers from Oregon and scientists from Oregon State University met three times between 2001 and 2003. Growers drew their N management systems and identified components, relationships and feedback loops using an ActionGram technique. From this information, researchers developed Group-based On-site Active Learning (GOAL). GOAL combines Action-Grams and the Adaptive Cycle at container nursery sites. In this case, N flow and management in container production systems served as the topic of active learning. Managers and employees from four wholesale container nurseries evaluated the GOAL exercise. After completing GOAL, 94% of participants indicated that they learned a new idea or concept about N cycling in their container nursery. Of those, 100% gained new ideas and concepts from peers and colleagues present at the meeting. In addition, 60% gained new ideas and concepts from researchers and 60% developed their own ideas and concepts. GOAL is a learning tool that provides a simple, convenient, interactive format for investigating complex systems.

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Gerardo H. Nunez, Neil O. Anderson, Christopher S. Imler, Laura Irish, Chad T. Miller, and Mariana Neves da Silva

, CA, USA) and Microsoft Teams (Microsoft Corp., Redmond, WA, USA). Although these products are effective in supporting lecture-based courses, they are not ideal tools to facilitate active learning, especially the hands-on activities, laboratories, and

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Tara Baugher, Montserrat Fonseca Estrada, Kelly Lowery, and Héctor Núñez Contreras

that may also apply to this group of adult learners. Several studies have shown that active learning techniques are highly effective with adults who participate in agricultural extension programs. Strong et al. (2010) looked at the perceptions of

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John D. Lea-Cox, Cindy Zhao, David S. Ross, Theodore E. Bilderback, J. Roger Harris, Susan D. Day, Chuanxue Hong, Thomas H. Yeager, Richard C. Beeson Jr, William L. Bauerle, Andrew G. Ristvey, Mary Lorscheider, Sarah Dickinson, and John M. Ruter

convenient to the individual. This approach was taken because none of the faculty involved had the time to devote to the active daily support of these resources, except through formalized course offerings. We, however, also designed the learning modules to

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Kent D. Kobayashi, Theodore J.K. Radovich, and Brooke E. Moreno

solving, decision-making, communication skills, and active learning ( Monteiro, 2007 ). Comparisons are made between traditional agricultural systems and more sustainable systems. Systems analysis is used to help students evaluate different production

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Kauahi Perez

, M. Marienau, C. 2008 Developing habits of reflection for meaningful learning New Dir. Adult Contin. Educ. 118 75 85 Kobayashi, K.D. Perez, K. 2009 Enhanced active learning and TA involvement in a production systems horticulture course. Proc. Hawaii

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Holly L. Scoggins

projects as well as in the evaluation of programs. Students and faculty. University and college gardens are nearly universally described as “living laboratories” in their mission statements. These gardens serve research, teaching, and experiential learning

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Neil S. Mattson, Elizabeth M. Lamb, Brian Eshenaur, and John Sanderson

objective of the program was to use an interactive small-group format to encourage active learning of topics related to IPM and plant culture leading to practice change and improved profitability in greenhouse operations. Initially, the program was offered