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Bringing the world of agriculture to the classroom
Date:4/11/2010

majority of students agreed that they learned a lot about the case study topic from their own presentation that their presentation skills improved. While most agreed that the case study feature should be kept in the course, 40% of the class felt that the time devoted to case studies would have been better spent on other activities, such as guest lectures, class discussions, and videos. Student performance on case-study questions was lower than lecture questions, but the authors suggest that the multiple choice format are not the most effective tool for evaluating higher-order learning.

One notable presentation on "Food Security, Nutrition, and Health in Costa Rica's Indigenous Populations" exemplified the key components of what the authors believe represent successful integration of case studies. Showing enthusiasm for the material, being organized and knowledgeable, and skillful speakers, the presentation took the form of a television news broadcast, with students role-playing the stakeholders and reporters.

"The presentation demonstrated the ability for the case studies to encourage student initiative, collaboration, creativity, and problem-solving," remarked Bethany Econopouly. "It was obvious that this group was interested in the material and went above and beyond the requirements of the assignment."

The authors conclude that that integrating case studies successfully met the goals of engaging students and promoting higher-order thinking. Recommending further use of case studies, they also suggest that groups use creative presentation techniques and rehearse with an instructor. To improve discussion, students should be accountable for reading presentation summaries, and student learning could be evaluated by means other than multiple-choice.


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Contact: Sara Uttech
sarauttech@sciencesocieties.org
608-268-4948
American Society of Agronomy
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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