See more from this Session: Experiential Learning and Action Education: II
Monday, October 17, 2011
Henry Gonzalez Convention Center, Hall C, Street Level
Soil judging contests are assumed to enhance student learning of soil morphology and classification, yet little scientific data exist to support this claim. This study was conducted to evaluate the impact that participating on a collegiate soil judging team has on student learning. A short pretest and post-test along with a demographic survey of the student’s educational and practical experience was administered to students who participated in the 2009-2010 regional collegiate soil judging contest in the United States. These tests were given at the start of the judging season and then after the regional competition. A paired t-test was completed and the results showed there was a significant difference found between the pretest and post-test (p=.013). With a mean score of 7.72 (out of 10) students scored significantly higher on the post-test than on the pretest with a mean score of 7.14. Results suggest that participating in a soil judging contest led to an increase in knowledge of soil morphology and classification. The increase in knowledge is likely from participating in a hands-on learning activity that includes all four components of the Kolb model. It is recommended that universities encourage participating in soil judging contests for students in soil sciences, natural resources, and closely related fields to compliment classroom instruction.