October 2018

News & Updates

World Food Prize
Drs. Lawrence Haddad (U.K. and South Africa) and David Nabarro (U.K. and United Nations) will receive the World Food Prize at a ceremony in the Iowa State Capitol building in Des Moines, Iowa, on the evening of October 18, 2018. The event is the centerpiece of the Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium, a three-day event which regularly draws over 1,200 people from 50 countries to discuss cutting-edge issues in global food security.  
On October 15, both Drs. Haddad and Nabarro will present at Iowa State University in the Great Hall at 8 p.m. Before the event, students working on global world issues will display and share their posters.  We wish all of you could join us as we celebrate the important work of your colleagues.  

Professional Learning Community Visits
We look forward to our upcoming visits to UKZN the week of October 22-26  and to KNUST the week of February 11-15, 2019.  Makerere visit is still being worked out.
During the visits, our goal is to provide individual and group consultations and professional development to plant breeding faculty. We would also like to get input on how the project can be sustained after funding has ended.  Input into future collaborations and products will be explored. 


Symposium 2018 Video

Some thoughts on Memorable Experiences in the classroom. 
Stories from the Classroom
      During the 2018 teaching and learning symposium, we spent some time exploring Gagne’s 9 events for successful instruction.  I think the important take away for me is that presenting content isn’t enough and sometimes you have to take a risk.  There is a lot to be said about gaining students attention in such a way that they become motivated to learn the content and to dig deeper after the content has been presented.  My years working in non-formal education as an Extension specialist helped me refine how to excite young people about un-interesting topics. Some of my most successful camps and programs were ones where I thought outside the box and put myself at risk for looking foolish. For instance- when asked to do a program on soils I created a character called the ‘Soil Witch.’  Decked out in a long dress tie-dyed to represent the soil horizons, I became a crusty-old character that was tired of being treated like dirt.  I had the kids learning about soil properties, decomposition and soil conservation. I was scared it was going to bomb, but the students responded well and before long I was doing the Soil Witch all over the state for kids, adults and college students. 
     Another program where I took a risk was when the molecular biology department director asked me to create a week-long camp on biotechnology for high school youth.  I came up with murder mystery approach where students would perform electrophoresis and PCR tests on hair samples to help solve the mystery. During the week students also learned about crime scene forensics, detective work and courtroom procedures from a local county attorney.  The last day parents were invited to sit on the jury while students presented their case and defense.  I remember the molecular biology director looking at me incredulously, while he asked if I really thought any one would sign up for the camp.  I stuck to my guns.   And yes, they did, and it was so successful we conducted it for many years and later wrote a curriculum based on it called “A Crime, A Clue, and Biotech.”  Years later I found out that some of those students ended up with degrees in biotechnology.
      I think your situation as a plant breeding professor is not so different than mine. Certainly, undergraduates need more creative approaches to help them get motivated and inspired, but graduates need this as well.  Sometimes other faculty won’t always support your idea, but if you have spent the time planning your instruction and have thought about what interests and motivates students the risks are worth taking.  My advice- take a risk this year and see what happens.


You Wanted to Know...

Imagine licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.

In his theory of learning, Robert Gagne highlights nine events that occur in successful instruction. We covered the 9 during the 2018 symposium, but trying to remember nine events to include in instruction can be overwhelming! Instead, think about condensing Gagne's Nine Events into four major phases: 

(1) Introduce content (gain attention, go over objectives, stimulate prior knowledge about the content)
(2) Present the content (use a variety of learning strategies)
(3) Provide feedback to students (formative and summative) 
(4) Enhance transfer (encourage further use of the content)

Take a look at the lesson plan included below which has four of Gagne's events clearly outlined.


You Wanted to Know...

Take a look at graduate assistant Miranda Morris' lesson plan from the 2018 PBEA-PLC Teaching and Learning Symposium has Gagne's 9 Events of Instruction condensed into 4 key phases of instructional design. 

Symposium 2017 Overview Lesson Plan
Lesson Title: Symposium 2017 Review Session
Core Competency:
Authors: Miranda Morris, M.S., Dr. Judith Levings
Date/Time: Tuesday, July 10th from 1-3PM
Materials: PowerPoint Presentation 

Gagne’s 9 Events Procedures:
Introduce Content
  1. Introduction + Attention Getter
Skills-based vs. Knowledge-based instruction
  1. Objectives
Participants should be able to review....
  • Designing a quality lesson plan based upon objectives
  • Choosing an engaging delivery method
  • Creating an applicable and useful assessment
  1. Recall
Review 3 basic components of the lesson plan (Objectives, delivery methods, assessment)
Present Content 

Lecture Part 1 – Creating Objectives Recall: Questioning 
  • How do you select objectives? 
Content: Designing Lesson Objectives
Activity Part 1 – Creating Objectives Think- Pair-Share Activity
Lecture Part 2 – Delivery Methods Recall: Questioning
  • What strategies do you use most in your classroom to improve retention?
Content: Domains of Learning
Activity Part 2 – Delivery Methods Think-Pair-Share Activity
Lecture Part 3 - Assessment Recall: Questioning
  • What do you think assessment is really evaluating? Content or your student’s ability to pass a test?
Content: Assessment 
Activity Part 3 – Assessment Think-Pair-Share Activity
Provide feedback and Enhance Transfer Assess Performance Discuss with the group the merits of each group’s lesson planning. Circle back to initial questions. Discuss in depth.
Retention and Transfer Reflection
  • How can this be used in your own coursework?
  • In mentoring new colleagues?

Contact the PBEA-PLC Team

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