|MODULE TITLE:||An Introduction to Horticulture, Forestry & Land Use and Environment|
|MODULE COORDINATOR||Barry J. McMahon|
|TARGET AUDIENCE:||Stage 1 of a 4 year Agricultural Science Articulation Degree delivered by UCD/South China Agricultural University Students|
|COLLABORATOR(S)||Mary Forrest & Wei Gong (South China Agricultural University)|
An Introduction to Horticulture, Forestry & Land Use and Environment is a core module taken by all UCD/ South China Agricultural University (SCAU) students. This is the first of six modules which UCD School of Agriculture & Food Science contribute to the first two years of an articulated degree (2 year + 2 year Degree). It is delivered in SCAU, Guangzhou and introduces the major global issues in horticulture and forestry in conjunction with other interactions between human beings and their environment. The class size is approximately 30 students however, the challenges relate to delivery, the nature of the material and the differences in lecture/tutor-student interactions between China and Ireland. In addition, the module was to be delivered over an intensive five day period with 15 hours contact in December 2013. Prior to delivery of the lectures I was informed that, in general, Chinese students were reserved, resilient with respect the volume of material they could absorb. They possess a good work ethic while they are unlikely to challenge the lecturer’s ideas or express alternative opinions or perspectives.
During this process the goals were as follows:
In advance, subject material was given to students. This consisted of lecture content and usually 3 tutorial questions directly related to the material covered. The following procedure was followed.
After initial difficulties with dialect and delivery, students indicated after 3-4 hours contact time, that they began to understand lectures and tutorials better. After a substantial amount of encouragement students did embrace and enjoy the opportunity to verbalise their opinions in tutorials and as the week progressed they gained in confidence.
There are number of points to note regarding the interaction of students in lectures and tutorials. Such as:
Here are some suggestions for delivery of lecture material in China:
Many of these points are relevant regardless of where lectures are delivered.