PR - Critical Success Factors Underpinning Industry Visits In Farm Management Education
In parallel with other applied disciplines, education in Farm Management needs to combine the exposure of students to theoretical frameworks as well as to situations where practically applied knowledge can be experienced and explored. Over the past 33 years, programs at Orange Agricultural College have used farm and industry visits as a strategy to enhance formal classroom activities in Farm Management education. Carefully designed tours enable students to observe, interview and listen to the experiences of practising managers in a manner that enables them to build awareness of applied management in a variety of “exemplary” farming and industry situations. Such engagement assists the student in their personal learning process as they reflect on what they see happening, how it happened and why. This paper builds on a broader paper that initially explored how constructive alignment between curriculum, assessment and tour design is critical in achieving learning outcomes. From this base, it focuses particularly on research that has sought to capture the experience gained through Farm Management programs over the past 3 decades at Orange Agricultural College. Emphasis is placed on combining learning outcomes for the student with the role of academics involved and with the industry co-operator visited and the early approach of Information Gathering is contrasted to the current best practice of Student Authorship. Such a tripartite connection enhances the conditions for creating more meaningful learning experiences and, over time, builds a richer sense of community for all involved.
Keywords: Student Tours, Farm Management Education, Rural Community.