Perceived benefits of selected experiential learning activities and quality of instructional techniques in a college of agriculture capstone course

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1998
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Andreasen, Randall
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Larry D. Trede
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Agricultural Education and Studies

The Department of Agricultural Education and Studies was formed in 1989 as a result of the merger of the Department of Agricultural Education with the Department of Agricultural Studies. Its focus includes two these fields: agricultural education leading to teacher-certification or outreach communication; and agricultural studies leading to production agriculture or other agricultural industries.

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The Department of Agricultural Education and Studies was formed in 1989 from the merger of the Department of Agricultural Education and the Department of Agricultural Studies.

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1989–present

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The purpose of this study was to determine the perceptions of course completers in a college of agriculture capstone course regarding the benefits of selected experiential learning activities and instructional techniques. Further, this study sought to determine the quality of the learning activities and instructional techniques employed in capstone course and to develop a model for the integration of these experiential learning activities into capstone courses;This study was conducted using a descriptive survey design. A four part questionnaire was developed and sent to 214 capstone course completers of AgEdS 450, Farm Management and Operation, Iowa State University. This sample was drawn from a population of 335 graduates enrolled in AgEdS 450 from Fall semester 1991 to Summer semester 1996. Sample characteristics obtained included first professional position, current position, major, gender, farm background, semester enrolled, number of times enrolled, and class committee assignment;Respondents were asked to indicated their perceived benefit from selected experiential learning and managerial activities. Further, respondents were asked to compare selected course interactions and opportunities to other similar courses. Additionally, they rated the quality of these learning activities and instructional techniques;Data analysis was accomplished through the use means, frequencies, standard deviations, rankings, t-tests and one way analysis of variance. Written comments and suggestions from respondents supported the results of the study;The major findings of this study indicate that capstone course completers perceived the benefits of the course to be highly relevant to their first professional position. They also believed that the capstone course provided more opportunities and interactions than other comparable courses. Additionally, they rated the quality of the learning activities and instructional techniques as above average;Recommendations were made to continue offering and refining this capstone course and to increase enrollment opportunities for others. Also, the incorporation of the Model for the Integration of Experiential Learning into Capstone Courses was emphasized to improve and evaluate this capstone course.

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Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 1998