Agriscience: Agriculture Specialization of Cooperative Learning Group

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The Cooperative Learning Group is a self-selected , small group in which learning takes place as students work together to achieve shared goals and thus maximize their and each other’s learning beyond their individual abilities. The learning may take place in a PBL environment or any other format decided upon by the faculty. The CLG would be a subsidiary of the Micro enterprise company and would also conduct entrepreneurship projects. The entrepreneurship project provides students with the opportunity to develop skills in budgeting, producing value added projects, marketing and other financial skills such as making, using, saving and investing money.

1. Students would be allowed to work cooperatively in self-selected groups called the Cooperative Learning Group (CLG).

• Teamwork and cooperative work are necessary elements of the Agriculture Specialization Course.

2. The Cooperative Learning Group works as a team towards a similar goal. CLG members succeed only if the other members of the CLG succeed.

3. Each student is expected to contribute to the success of the CLG. Individual accountability is essential as all group members hold themselves accountable for high quality work.

4. Students are responsible for each other’s learning as all students provide the necessary academic and personal support that would lead to success

5. The emphasis is on teamwork. Social skills such as

• the ability to compromise and build consensus

• encouraging others

• disagreeing without being disagreeable

• expressing support

• inviting and allowing others to share their findings and opinions

• actively listening to other contributions

• keeping things calm and reducing tension

• mediating, showing appreciation

• responding to ideas

• sharing feelings

• regularity and punctuality at meetings

• Comprehensively completing assigned tasks in time for discussion and

These social skills are all needed to successfully coordinate the efforts of the CLG.

6. The CLG investigates broad assignments in the following way:

• Each member should be given a specific task to research at the mandatory weekly in the class, other meetings could be held at the discretion of the Chairperson. For example, learning about Grasses as rabbit forage may include relevant topics such as varieties, nutritional value, planting and planting distances, fertilizer application, pest and disease control, best time to harvest and also preparation of the forage for use by the rabbit.

• Since task work is emphasized each member of the CLG chooses a topic and is responsible for teaching all others in the CLG everything there is to know about that topic. The CLG member is accountable for high quality work and is responsible for his/her share of the work.

• Each CLG reports to the other CLGs to report and discuss their topics

• Although each member is responsible for his assigned task, they have other members of their CLG to help, encourage and support them.

• The members of the CLG would decide on what to research and how to organize and present their findings.

• Each member contributes to the project as a whole and has the opportunity to share his/her expertise with the others as well as learn from his/her peers.

7. The CLG Meeting Format

• All CLGs are to meet at the agreed upon date and time

• These are weekly meetings

• CLG members perform both Administrative and Technical roles.

• Administrative roles include

i) Chairperson: ensures all contribute

ii) Scribe: record keeping

iii) Time keeper: keeps the group on...
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