National Assessment of Learner Centered Teaching

Workshop Presentations

Using learner-centered teaching approaches in the agricultural, environmental and life sciences

Abstract

The purpose of this presentation is to engage professors to discuss examples of learning centered-teaching (LCT) approaches. Specifically, participants will: (1) identify the assumptions of learner-centered teaching methods; (2) discuss challenges of using learner-centered teaching methods; and (3) reflect on examples of effective learner-centered teaching methods used by scholars of teaching and learning in agricultural, environmental and life sciences.

Twelve scholars of teaching and learning participated in a national case study of learner-centered teaching approaches. Professors represented different disciplines in the agricultural, environmental and life sciences, and taught at land-grant universities and state colleges in four different regions throughout the United States. Professors who used active learning methods engaged learners through cooperative group learning activities in their classrooms. Professors who used inquiry learning methods engaged learners through ill-structured problems. Professors who used service learning engage learners through community-based projects and reflective activities. Regardless of the approach, the scholars of teaching and learning made teaching a priority, cared about their students, focused on processes that would engage higher-level thinking, and were motivated by professional responsibility.

Instructional methods used in college classrooms contribute to the quality and preparation of graduates for the real world. Students experience both cognitive and affective gains in learning when they are actively engaged in the process through learner-centered teaching methods.

Citation

Knobloch, N. A., & Ball, A. L. (2005, June). Using learner-centered teaching approaches in the agricultural, environmental and life sciences. Poster session presented at the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Conference, Wooster, OH.