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Project Based Learning: Integration across Agricultural Systems Technology Courses

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2015 ASABE Annual International Meeting  152156630.(doi:10.13031/aim.20152156630)
Authors:   Michael L Pate, F. Richard Beard, Bruce Miller, Rhonda Miller, Royce Hatch, Kelsey Hall
Keywords:   curriculum, education, student, problems, systems


The Agricultural Systems Technology (AST) degree program demonstrates the effectiveness of integrating project-based learning across core courses of the major. Faculty collaboratively integrated PBL activities within six core agricultural systems courses to enhance student laboratory experiences throughout the program. Collaborative efforts between instructors of core course sought to scaffold instruction to assist students in making meaningful connections in order to promote a systems approach to problem solving. The objective of this approach was to facilitate student-driven learning activities and the application of critical thinking in realistic situations. Students select projects that are personally meaningful as they relate to accomplishing course learning objectives. Instructional strategies included demonstrations with models, utilization of student-feedback rubrics, skill acquisition activities, and dialogue to develop students’ metacognition. Students solve problems through investigation by organizing their research and applying acquired knowledge to complete a project. Students reported the results of projects to demonstrate conceptual understanding of key objectives within courses. This paper highlights approaches used within the AST program.

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