Teaching Notes

Overview

Agriculture education is especially critical today at a time when fewer people grow up in rural areas. Our modules can help educate students about agriculture by focusing on the most important crop in our country – corn.

photo of classroom at U of M.

Intended use

These modules were designed for high school and undergraduate students, and educators can incorporate the Lessons into classes such as Agriculture, Crop Production, Botany, Physiology, and Crop Breeding. Our materials would be ideal to use in an online course or for a flipped classroom where students study the materials outside of the classroom in lieu of a lecture so class time can be reserved for interactive activities.

Students do not need an agricultural background to grasp the materials. For instance, the Corn Production Lesson provides introductory background on cropping systems concepts to aid comprehension. The Lessons also can be used on their own as a stand-alone tool for anyone in the world to learn more about corn and its production in our region.

Lesson design

Lessons (Corn Production, Corn Uses, Biology of Corn, and Corn Breeding) are stand-alone topics and can be watched in any order. However, the Modules (Parts 1-3) within a Lesson should be viewed in order. Modules are broken down into 20-30 minute increments to suit students’ attention spans. Altogether, the materials total over five hours.

Quiz Questions

We designed the modules to have questions after each section to allow students to gauge their own comprehension of the materials. If students get an answer wrong, they are free to go back to that section to review materials. Most questions have answers in random order so each student will not see the questions as the same. Students can clear their answers by closing the module they are working on and starting modules over. Student answers to quiz questions are not stored permanently by our system.

Module supplements

Each module ends with a summary called Concepts to Remember, which includes topics from the module that are important to remember.  Each module also has a glossary at end that students can access when they don’t know the meaning of a word.  These slides are interactive and students can spend as little or as much time on them as they need.

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