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December 2016

News & Updates

In-Country Visit Dates

We have made contact with each partner university and started to make arrangements to visit.  As classes resume for the spring semester all plans will be finalized. 

The following dates have been selected:
Ghana-- March 6-10, 2017
South Africa-- February (tentative)
Uganda-- February (tentative)

The purpose of the visit is to assist you with the integration of the PBEA e-Modules and your teaching and, as appropriate, your teaching practices.  Consider us consultants.  We have sketched out a generic schedule of our visits, but events and times can be rearranged to meet individual needs.

The following is a condensed version of the proposed schedule:

Day 1 & 2:  Understand the coursework, environment, student/teacher dynamics, and instructional approaches through observation.

Day 3:  Provide seminars, workshops, or other forms of professional development.

Day 4:  Provide individual consultations and make observations for needs assessments.

Day 5:  Wrap things up and plan for the future.

The full version of this schedule can be found on the PLC website at this link:

You Wanted to Know...

When making curriculum decisions, an educator’s philosophy of teaching and learning is a major contributor to the decision making process.  Why do you believe it is important to develop a working philosophy of teaching and learning?  The team in South Africa identified a need for assistance in developing and defining their philosophies of teaching.

Your philosophy of teaching will serve as a guide as you make decisions about curriculum, learning objectives, and instructional methods.  You must ask yourself “why” before you can ask yourself “what” or “how”.  It is also important to note that there is often a difference in what educators say they believe and what they actually practice.  An awareness of this difference will help you examine any discrepancies in what you believe and your actions.  By developing your working philosophy you will better be able to set guidelines, determine what is worthwhile, and ask better questions.

For more information on philosophies of teaching, and tips on how to develop your own philosophy of teaching visit the
PLC website at this link:

Creating Effective Rubrics

In plant breeding education, there are numerous objectives that require students to perform or produce something.  For these situations, multiple choice testing methods are not appropriate.  Some other method is needed to validly and reliably assess the performance or product.  Rubrics can help you do this.  Besides helping you determine a grade or level of performance, rubrics can clearly communicate expectations to students and help them focus on the most important aspects.

Creating a rubric is simple.  You need to do three things:

  1. List the criteria that you will use to judge the quality of a students’ performance or product.
  2. Develop a rating scale.  Each level on the rating scale can be equated to a number of points that will be awarded.
  3. Describe each rating for each criteria.
For more information on creating and organizing rubrics visit the PLC website at this link:

Contact the PBEA-PLC Team

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