Reflective Writing as an Assessment for Student Analysis and Synthesis Ability in a Landscape Design Course
VanDerZanden, Ann Marie
Horticulture graduates entering the field of landscape design and installation must be able to integrate technical skills with practical applications. This requires higher-order thinking skills such as critical thinking, which can be practiced through various teaching and learning strategies in an undergraduate curriculum. The objective of this project was to develop a series of three reflective writing assignments in a landscape design course to help students improve their critical thinking skills of analysis and synthesis. Scores on an 18-point quiz question for 110 students enrolled in Beginning Garden Composition (HORT 380) from 2005 to 2009 were compared. The comparison was between 2 years when the reflective writing assignments were not part of the course and 3 years when the assignments were included in the course. Quiz scores increased significantly for the students who completed the reflective writing assignments (average of 16.2 out of 18) compared with students who did not complete the assignments as part of the course (average 10.2 out of 18).
This is an article from HortTechnology 20 (2010): 668. Posted with permission.