Farmer-preferred learning methods and utilised teaching approaches by Egerton University, Kenya

Universities are centres of frontier knowledge and skills, with the capacity to transform communities,when appropriately and adequately transmitted to users. The aim of this paper was to compare farmer-preferred learning methods and those utilised in teaching during Egerton University’s outreach activities, with a view to drawing useful insights for more effective community future engagements. A cross sectional survey was conducted in 2017, using researcher-administered questionnaires, on a sample of 84 farmers purposefully selected from communities where Egerton University implemented extension outreach programmes. Key informant interviews and focus group discussions were also conducted for community leaders and extension officers in the selected Wards, to supplement data collection. Results showed that the decision to participate in the outreach activities implemented by Egerton University was personal, with nearly all the respondents (99%) citing acquisition of new knowledge and skills as the major reason. Demonstrations were the most preferred and utilised methods (90 and 92%, respectively); while the use of group discussions were preferred by 51% of the respondents and utilised in 86% of the outreach activities. Results also showed significant relations for demonstration (χ2 = 17.21, P<.001), touring university model farms (χ2 = 68.11, P<.001) and use of training videos (χ2 = 40.98, P<.001) between farmer-preferred learning methods and utilised teaching methods. This explains the popularity of demonstrations as a teaching and learning method of Egerton University in connecting theoretical and scientific aspects, to practice. Learner centred teaching methods, with the capacity to facilitate collaborative or cooperative learning, should be enhanced.
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East Africa
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