News & Updates

Planning for Spring travel to Ghana and Uganda is well-underway! 
A visit to KNUST is planned for March 13-15.  The team, Dr. Michael Retallick and Dr. Judith Levings, will travel to Kumasi where they will conduct professional development on ways to use the PBEA modules and how to enhance classroom learning and teaching.   Faculty from the University of Cape Coast, University for Developmental Studies in Tamale and the University of Energy and Natural Resources in Sunyani, have been invited to join with the faculty from KNUST. 
A visit to the Makerere University Regional Centre for Crop Improvement (MaRCCI) is planned for the week of March 18-22.  The PLC Team, Dr. Michael Retallick and Dr. Greg Miller, along with  Dr. Kendall Lamkey, will visit the ISU Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods at Kumuli the first part of the week.  Then they will attend a meeting with the Sasawaka African Association before visiting with and conducting professional development for the MaRCCI faculty. 

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and University Awards
The ISU Plant Breeding Education in Africa team received the Team Award!  The team was formed to address a critical need to educate the next generation of plant breeders at the Masters of Science level in Africa. The project received support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation totaling $2.8 million, which was distributed between the Agronomy and Agricultural Education and Studies departments. Congrats to the team and thanks to all who contributed support letters and other documentation! 

About our Project!
An excellent article about our plant breeding project called " International Collaboration in Plant Breeding Education, " was published in CSA News.  CSA news is the official magazine for members of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America.


You Wanted to Know...

How can you learn to play in the classroom? 
           According to research conducted by Jan Plass, Bruce Home, and Charles Kinzer, playful learning is described as "an activity by the learner, aimed at the construction of a mental model, that is designed to include one or more elements of games for the purpose of enhancing the learning process". 
Playful learning can help the educator involve the affective(emotional), cognitive (thinking), and social (community) of the learner to improve engagement and retention. 

Classroom response systems like Kahoot are another great way to add playfulness to your classroom. What are you willing to try?!

Stories from the Classroom

Enhance Your Lectures with a Classroom Response System
Greg Miller
Iowa State University
Are all your students mentally engaged with your lectures?  Are you happy with what usually happens when you ask questions during class?  If you answered no to either of these questions, I encourage you to try using a classroom response system.
Classroom response systems are powerful tools for engaging students and getting quick and useful responses from ALL of them.  Students’ responses can help you decide how to proceed with instruction.  Students also benefit by formulating answers, submitting a response, and discovering their correct and incorrect understandings.  You can quickly move students from being passive and off-task mentally into an active and engaged learning mode.
Classroom response systems can be used strategically in teaching both small and large classes.  Many would argue that their potential positive impact on teaching and learning is greatest in large lecture classes.  A common use and a great place to start is using them to review material.  A game-based system like Kahoot plays on students’ competitive spirit as they are rewarded for correct responses and for submitting correct responses quickly.  Reliable wireless internet with adequate bandwidth is all you need to use it effectively.  Students can respond with their laptops or phones.  Almost every time I have used Kahoot, the level of engagement and excitement among students has gone up dramatically.  It is exhilarating to see and feel this happen!  Over the last year, I have used and observed others using Kahoot in Ghana, Malaysia, South African and the United States.  It produces positive and exciting results almost every time.
I encourage you to sign up for a free Kahoot account and give it a try.


Contact the PBEA-PLC Team

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