Category

Teaching & Learning in Undergraduate Academic Programs

Assessing Undergraduate Needs Within Online Learning Management Systems in Colleges of Agriculture

Christopher A. Clemons
The internet has served as the basis for online learning for the past 30 years. Learning management systems have become a primary focus of public and private universities as the next generation of college students expect open and unfettered access to their education. The purpose of this Delphi Study was to investigate the instructional needs of undergraduate agriculture students enrolled in online learning environments at a midwestern College of Agriculture. Two research questions guided this investigation, (1) what are the essential components for an effective undergraduate online learning management system and (2) what are stakeholder perceptions of learning management system design, development, coursework, and design themes? Using the Delphi Model for consensus an undergraduate panel (N = 10) was convened to identify the vital components for learning management systems which addressed instructional design, application of course content, and student collaboration education within online learning platforms…

Read More

The Perceived Impact of Life Experiences and Selected Growth Areas Upon the Employability Preparation of Land-Grant College Graduates

Chastity Warren English, Chantel Simpson, & Antoine J. Alston
The purpose of this study was to analyze the perceived impact of life experiences and selected growth areas upon the employability preparation of land-grant college graduates, as observed by employers. The study revealed that a variety of life experiences and experiential learning opportunities, in general, are significant for career success for land-grant college graduates. Further, participants reported that many trends would influence the agricultural industry over the next five to 10 years, such as Digital Agriculture (Precision Agriculture or Big Data), Research and Development, Agricultural Technology, Engineering, and Mechanization, Environment, Globalization, and selected Agribusiness related themes. Recommendations included Land-Grant Colleges considering curriculum and program revisions concerning these trend areas, to better prepare graduates to be future change agents within the global food, agriculture, and renewable natural resources fields.

Read More

Knowledge, Skills, and Competencies Needed by Students with Training in Agricultural and Environmental Practices as Perceived by Local Leaders: A Delphi Study

Sarah Sapp, Andrew C. Thoron, & Eric D. Rubenstein
The purpose of this study was to examine the knowledge, skills, and competencies needed by high school students with coursework in agricultural and environmental practices as perceived by educators and industry members. This study utilized a true Delphi technique in order to obtain the perceptions of the respondents. Respondents indicated 122 items that were important for students to possess with coursework in this area. The top 83 items were reported based upon panel members’ perceived importance of these items. There were three major themes or categories of importance identified by the panel members, which include: life/leadership skills, core subject area knowledge, and competence in production agriculture knowledge/practices…

Read More

Preservice Teachers’ Perceptions of Infusing Mathematics in the School- Based Agricultural Education Curricula

Nathan W. Conner, Sarah Greer, Nathan Ollie, Christopher T. Stripling, & Carrie A. Stephens
Mathematics knowledge is a critical component of natural and agricultural sciences, and school- based agricultural education is expected to support core academic instruction. Therefore, preservice agricultural education teachers must be prepared to teach mathematical concepts.
This study explores preservice agricultural education teachers’ perceptions of mathematics in the school-based agricultural education curricula. Five preservice teachers consisting of 4 females and 1 male participated in this qualitative study. Data were collected through individual semi-structured interviews that were approximately 30 minutes, and thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. Audit trails, triangulation, member checking, and thick description were used to achieve trustworthiness. Five themes…

Read More

Investigating Structured Communication between Teacher Candidates and Cooperating Teachers at Multiple Universities

Chris L. Hunt & Don W. Edgar
Preservice teaching experiences lay the foundation for agricultural education graduates to enter the teaching field (Lawver & Torres, 2011). The overall teacher candidate experience allows candidates to develop lessons and lead classroom learning events while participating in courses that allow them to actually be “students of education” (Edgar, 2007, p. 2). Furthermore, teaching-efficacy has shown to impact individual’s entrance to the field of teaching (Wolf, et al., 2010). The purpose of this study was to assess teaching efficacy and the relationship of teacher candidates and cooperating teachers via a structured communication instrument. To determine if a difference existed in teaching efficacy an ANOVA was used. The overall model was not significant (Between Groups, F = .57 and p = .69)…

Read More

Effect of the Inquiry-Based Teaching Method on Students’ Content Knowledge and Motivation to Learn about Biofuels

Carmelita E. Goossen, F. Richie Roberts, Amanda Kacal, Ashley S. Whiddon, & J. Shane Robinson
Students in secondary education are failing in science and are not prepared adequately for college. This deficit has led to the use of innovative teaching methods, including inquiry-based instruction. Inquiry-based instruction has gained popularity because of its realistic and problem- based strategy. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of inquiry-based instruction, compared to lecture, on the content knowledge and motivation for completing a science-based laboratory activity of pre-service agricultural education teachers (N = 41) at Oklahoma State University. Students were assigned randomly to either an inquiry group or lecture group in the completely randomized 2×2 design. A biofuels unit…

Read More

Western Region Student Teachers’ Perceptions of Rural and Urban Agriscience Programs

Corey Clem, Rhea Leonard, Cindy Akers, Steven Fraze, & Scott Burris
Agricultural Education is continually changing and its role in the urban school is becoming more important. Agriscience teachers must be willing to teach within urban programs. This study was performed in order to identify characteristics in recruiting agriscience teachers in urban programs. Data collection took place during the months of August and September 2010 using a researcher designed questionnaire. Seventy Western Region student teachers, completing their programs in the AAAE Western Region, completed the questionnaire. Findings of this study concluded participants’ value location as an important factor when selecting their teaching position. The majority of participants experienced an agriscience program in a rural program and agreed they are receiving the correct…

Read More

Migrants, Farming, and Immigration: Beginning a Dialogue in Agricultural Education

Scott A. Beck & Yasar Bodur
Based upon quantitative survey data from 359 students, aged thirty or younger, at a large, state university that serves a relatively balanced rural / urban population, this manuscript outlines what Southern young people, particularly young educators, think they know and what they believe regarding the workers who are essential to their daily diet of fruits and vegetables: America’s immigrant and migrant farm workers. The participants’ attitudes are compared and contrasted with their relevant life experiences and backgrounds such as: gender, race / ethnicity, political affiliation, and agricultural experience. Using a factor analyses, significant clusters of semantically and statistically valid background experience…

Read More