Journal of Research in Technical Careers


student engagement, active learning, team-based learning, capstone course


Educational Methods


Student engagement is an important consideration across all levels of education. The adoption of student-centered teaching methods is an effective way to increase student engagement. Student engagement is at risk when instructor expectations and student participation in purposeful engagement activities are not aligned. Traditionally, student engagement is measured at the institutional level, which proves less than useful to instructors who wish to gauge engagement in specific courses in higher education. In this study, we sought to determine classroom level engagement in a capstone farm management course recently converted to the team-based learning format by comparing student perceptions regarding participation in engagement-specific activities with the instructors’ perceived importance of those same activities. The Classroom-Level Survey of Student Engagement (CLASSE) was utilized to collect student participation and instructor importance data. Data were examined utilizing a 2x2 quadrant analysis. Congruence between student participation frequency and instructor importance was found between 73.7% of the educational activities, while discrepancies were found on 26.3% of educational activities. Overall, students who completed the team-based learning-structured farm management course were physically and psychologically engaged in the learning environment. It is recommended that team-based learning be implemented in other courses within agricultural education to examine its utility in other contexts.