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Studies in plant sciences are grounded in concepts aimed to acquaint students with nature through experiential learning. Unfortunately, these concepts easily become diluted in traditional lecture and laboratory-based courses often disconnected from

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interactive coursework delivered in classroom, hybrid, or web-based learning environments. To address this issue, our study focused on student learning styles. The theories and research surrounding learning styles are confusing. Cassidy (2004) voiced a

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methods. Then, based on qualitative data, we suggest the most effective components for enhancing student learning during a plant science study abroad program. Course overview Thirteen students (eight plant and soil science students, two students from other

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Increasingly, SLOs are a part of the reaccreditation process for colleges and universities in the United States ( Pritts and Park, 2013 ). Students are expected to master a minimum amount of learning based on instruction with measurable outcomes

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basic/common horticultural problems; and 7) use your basic horticultural vocabulary in questions, answers, descriptions, definitions, and identifications. As I began to teach this course, I was involved in writing our assessment of student learning plan

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arguments for experiential learning is that it places students in real situations where they must not only call on lower-level concepts, but also engage in higher levels of learning as they “analyze what is going on in the game or exercise, synthesize

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A learning community was developed for first-year students majoring in horticulture at Iowa State Univ. in 1998. Learning communities are a curriculum design that schedules courses for both students and faculty to encourage community and connections among students, between students and faculty, and among faculty. Learning communities can offer students more opportunities for interactions among each other, academic assistance through supplemental instruction and/or group study sessions, and planned horticulture-related activities, all of which are important for success and retention of first-year students. First-year students in the horticulture learning community enrolled in the same courses and sections of five courses. The first-year English composition course was linked to the second-year principles of horticulture course that requires writing-across-the-curriculum activities. Faculty mentoring was provided through local field trips to horticultural sites of keen interest to the students. Academic environment survey results showed students rated their expectations highly for developing a network of other students as a resource group and for learning cooperatively in groups. Iowa State Univ. supports learning communities by providing faculty development and facilitating course registration, peer mentoring, supplemental instruction for challenging core courses, and academic and student services, to strengthen undergraduate teaching programs within and outside of the classroom.

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North Carolina State University, Schroeder et al. (2006) summarized student perceptions of the organic and sustainable agriculture programs, with students reporting as the most valuable aspects of the program the engagement in hands-on learning

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Experiential learning is an integral component of successful career preparation for the horticulture industry. The limited-enrollment practicum course through Sparty's Flowers has been taught for 7 years, and accounts largely for the overall success of the retail floriculture program. Structure is built into the course by assigning weekly individual learning objectives and assignments. Students, in turn, develop their own action plans, upon which evaluation is based. Interactive group meetings replace formal lectures for more effective instructional delivery. Knowledge retention is enhanced as lessons are experienced, not only heard and read. Technical hands-on experiences of design, display, advertising, recordkeeping, sales, and merchandising sharpen abilities. Professional skills, such as time management, interpersonal communication, leadership, and creative problem solving are also developed and fostered by all members of the class. Practicum instruction, as an example of effective collaborative learning, allows a creative and realistic approach to teaching horticulture.

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coupling the technical aspects of hydroponic crop production with engaging learning strategies such as hands-on laboratory exercises and service-learning projects may create a richer learning experience for students. Service-learning is a proven pedagogical

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