Graduate programs in agriculture in developing countries such as in Ethiopia are often designed in cognizance of the need for skilled manpower for agricultural development. In Ethiopia, the contribution of graduates of agricultural graduate programs to the attempt to transform smallholder agriculture has become a matter of urgency in the face of the increasing challenge of food insecurity. However, the performance of graduates of those programs in making concrete contributions to the urgent needs of agricultural development has been patchy at best. There might be no single best solution as to how to make agricultural graduate programs and/or their graduates responsive to the needs of agricultural development. In particular, hopes that effective teaching and learning in agricultural graduate programs would lead their students to attain the relevant knowledge and skills to make concrete contributions to agricultural development are frequently not realized. This article seeks to share the experience of implementing the AgShare project model to develop and use an open education resource (OER) module, and in so doing, furthering our understanding of the possibilities of enhancing the quality of teaching and learning toward its intended purpose. Among the key findings from this experience is that a multimedia OER module developed against clearly defined educational needs, with authentic content designed according to sound educational principles, can lead to direct and immediate improvements in the quality of teaching and learning, which enables learners to acquire knowledge and skills that fit an ultimate purpose in a real-life context.
Date of publication:
RUFORUM Journal Articles