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Conference paper2009Peer reviewed

Reflection-in-Action: a Trigger for Acquisition of Higher Horticultural Education Knowledge

Asp, H.; Karlen, H.; Alsanius, B. W.


This paper addresses experiences from two examples where practical case studies were used as course starter in order to increase the operational knowledge but also as a tool for increased learning outcomes for theoretical knowledge. The first case presented was performed by freshmen enrolled into a two-year-long horticultural management program and involved greenhouse pot plant production. Each student working group was responsible for one production factor e. g., light, water or nutrients, on one out of four crops (chrysanthemum, poinsettia, basil and tomatoes). Within given frames the details of the study were formed by the students. During the course the trials were discussed in terms of production physiology, statistics, and presentation of results. The second case study discussed was performed by students at an advanced level of the M.Sc. program in Horticulture (5 years). The assignment was to build, and run, an automatic closed hydroponic growing system. The case study was given during the first week of the course with minimal instructions. The set-up was then used in the course for experiments on nutrient analysis, pH regulation, and plant biometrics. Results showed that both case studies had a positive effect on the learning outcome for both theoretical as well as operational knowledge. The cultivation system resulting from the case became a rich source for discussions within the student group and with the supervisors on various subjects during the course. The supervisors found a way, through the case studies, to meet students with different backgrounds on their individual knowledge level. It was also encouraging for the teachers to observe how the personal initiative from the students grew when working with the case studies. Details about the case studies and our experiences as a pedagogical tool are presented and discussed.


plant case study; practical knowledge; learning outcomes

Published in

Acta Horticulturae
2009, Volume: 832, pages: 43-47 Title: V International Symposium on Horticultural Research, Training and Extension
ISBN: 978-90-66054-48-6
Publisher: ISHS


V International Symposium on Horticultural Research, Training and Extension

      SLU Authors

    • Asp, Håkan

      • Horticulture, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
      • Karlen, Helena

        • Horticulture, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
      • Sustainable Development Goals

        SDG4 Quality education

        UKÄ Subject classification


        Permanent link to this page (URI)