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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2005

Agroecology - Integrating student learning and teacher collaboration

Leiblein Geir, Moulton Mike, Sriskandarajah Nadarajah, Christensen D, Waalen Wendy, Breland Tor-Arvid, Francis Charles, Salomonsson Lennart, Langer Vibeke


This article reports the experiences from designing and running a Nordic net-based course, Ecology of Farming and Food Systems, during the spring of 2004. Our aim was two-fold: to design a course which uses an explicit experiential learning approach, and to design a clear structure for faculty collaboration across national boundaries. Kolb’s learning cycle was chosen as the basis for the course design as well as organizing teacher collaboration. Ten teachers from five different institutions/countries collaborated in developing and teaching the course. Six students representing a very wide cultural and geographical span, from China to the United States, participated in the pilot course. Quantitative and qualitative feedback in mid-term and final course evaluations indicates that students were generally very satisfied with the course. In particular, the use of a case study as starting point for learning agroecology was highly valued. Teacher collaboration organized around phases of Kolb’s learning cycle received a favourable evaluation from both students and teachers. However, improvements need to be made in terms of continuity when responsibility is transferred from module to module. We feel that our experience using Kolb’s learning cycle to structure course process and teacher collaboration may be useful to others, when student centred learning is the focus and cooperation among instructors across institutions and national borders is a challenge

Published in

European Journal Of Open And Distance Learning
2005, Volume: 1, pages: 1-9

    SLU Authors

    • Salomonsson, Lennart

      • Department of Rural Development and Agroecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

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