About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3083-3091
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-606-5763-7
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain

FLIPPING OUT: STUDENTS AND TEACHER LEARN TOGETHER VIA SELF-LEARNING, SELF-ASSESSMENTS, RUBRICS, & PEER REVIEW IN A NOVEL COURSE ON AGRICULTURE INFORMATION & TECHNOLOGY, CUTTINGTON UNIVERSITY, LIBERIA

M. Kesselman, C. Forbes

Rutgers University (UNITED STATES)
This paper reviews the development of a novel required course focusing on information literacy and research skills, teamwork and practical information for problem solving (including interdisciplinary approaches and evidence-based research), information technologies and life-long learning. The course is integrated into the curriculum for the College of Agriculture and Sustainable Development (CASD) at Cuttington University in Liberia (Africa) supported by a US Agency for International Development (USAID) EHELD (Excellence in Higher Education for Liberian Development) grant.

A major obstacle is that no one is experienced to teach it. The course instead utilizes a “flipped classroom” approach where students take responsibility for much of the direction it takes and often become “teachers” of the course. Many self-paced learning materials are used in lieu of some classes and a textbook, and along with active learning techniques, peer review, peer learning, peer mentors, and interdisciplinary perspectives, the course develops student critical thinking skills in using information in today’s fast paced digital world.

Self-assessment tools provide benchmarks for student learning. Peer review, where fellow students critique the work of each other, reinforces learning and provides valuable feedback. While students provide advice to each other, they also develop insight into their own work. The instructor and students serve as guides when others need assistance. Students who do well serve as peer mentors to students needing help. In future iterations of the course, it is likely that students will become course contributors and developers to a greater extent.

Student access to instructor’s evaluation rubrics lets them know what is expected in completing assignments and activities. There are no exams; the focus is on experiential self-learning techniques, presentations, discussions, assignments, and a final literature review and annotated bibliography students can use for their senior experimental research.

Another obstacle is the lack of broadband access to the Internet. Resources were downloaded at Rutgers University and brought to CASD on drives to upload to the CASD computer network. Educational YouTube videos used for the course were converted into mp4 files so they can be viewed without an Internet connection. We use curated open source learning materials with a creative commons designation; some were adapted, as well as materials designed specifically for the course. All learning materials and assignments are available on the CASD network arranged in folders. Each student uses a flash drive instead of a physical notebook for keeping notes on learning materials, assignments, presentations, and their final project. A dedicated computer is available for students to create a folder to back up their work.

Two freely-available tools are used to support teaching and learning. Edmodo (www.edmodo.com) is a closed social network to post assignments and assessments, and where students share content with each other and the instructor. Evernote (www.evernote.com) allows students to organize their thoughts and write collaboratively on team projects.

The paper and presentation also demonstrates how self-assessments, rubrics, and peer evaluations are tied to learning outcomes in the course. Given rapid changes in technology and eventually improved access to the Internet, revisions to the course will be needed.
@InProceedings{KESSELMAN2015FLI,
author = {Kesselman, M. and Forbes, C.},
title = {FLIPPING OUT: STUDENTS AND TEACHER LEARN TOGETHER VIA SELF-LEARNING, SELF-ASSESSMENTS, RUBRICS, & PEER REVIEW IN A NOVEL COURSE ON AGRICULTURE INFORMATION & TECHNOLOGY, CUTTINGTON UNIVERSITY, LIBERIA},
series = {9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2015 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-606-5763-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {2-4 March, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {3083-3091}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Kesselman AU - C. Forbes
TI - FLIPPING OUT: STUDENTS AND TEACHER LEARN TOGETHER VIA SELF-LEARNING, SELF-ASSESSMENTS, RUBRICS, & PEER REVIEW IN A NOVEL COURSE ON AGRICULTURE INFORMATION & TECHNOLOGY, CUTTINGTON UNIVERSITY, LIBERIA
SN - 978-84-606-5763-7/2340-1079
PY - 2015
Y1 - 2-4 March, 2015
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2015 Proceedings
SP - 3083
EP - 3091
ER -
M. Kesselman, C. Forbes (2015) FLIPPING OUT: STUDENTS AND TEACHER LEARN TOGETHER VIA SELF-LEARNING, SELF-ASSESSMENTS, RUBRICS, & PEER REVIEW IN A NOVEL COURSE ON AGRICULTURE INFORMATION & TECHNOLOGY, CUTTINGTON UNIVERSITY, LIBERIA, INTED2015 Proceedings, pp. 3083-3091.
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