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Module 3: Project Development of Community-Based Horticulture Education. Jennifer Wheeler Graduate Assistant. Neil Knobloch Assistant Professor. Learning Objectives. Outline a community-based service learning project Identify learning objectives and standards

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Module 3: Project Development of Community-Based Horticulture Education

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module 3 project development of community based horticulture education

Module 3: Project Development of Community-Based Horticulture Education

Jennifer Wheeler

Graduate Assistant

Neil Knobloch

Assistant Professor

learning objectives
Learning Objectives
  • Outline a community-based service learning project
  • Identify learning objectives and standards
  • Explain key steps throughout the project
  • Create a rubric to measure expected project outcomes
  • Identify instructional and project resources
our goal is to answer this question
Our goal is to answer this question
  • How do you create a community-based horticulture education project based on place-based learning and service learning?
situating a project



Situating a Project


Instructional Design Process

Step 1: Context

Step 2: Content

Step 3: Project Assessment

Step 4: Project Activities & Instruction

deciding on context
Deciding on Context
  • Begin by thinking about “how” and “why” this content would be used by learners, and starting to identify:
    • What knowledge, understandings, and skills are needed:
      • To enter and continue to learn in a career field;
      • For education beyond high school; and,
      • To practice avocational interests and skills.
    • How vocational-technical skills can be integrated with academic skills; and,
    • What are some real-life problems that would help students learn what they need to know, understand, and do to enter and continue to advance in a career (Bottoms, Pucel, & Phillips, no date)
  • What are some real-world settings where this content is used?
deciding on content
Deciding on Content
  • Begin with the end in mind (Backward Design Process - Wiggins & McTighe, 1998)
    • Identify Big Idea or Key Concepts
      • At the end of this unit, what big idea should students understand and be able to do?
        • Consider teacher goals
        • Assess community assets and needs
        • Review curriculum expectations
        • Examine established content standards (Illinois Learning Standards)
      • Does the big idea have long-term value beyond the classroom?
      • Will the big idea motivate and engage students?
deciding on assessment
Deciding on Assessment
  • Determine Acceptable Evidence or Desired Outcomes (Learning Objectives)
    • What will the learners understand (concepts – Illinois Learning Standards)?
    • What will the learners be able to know (knowledge)?
    • What will the learners be able to do (skills)?
    • How will we know if learners have achieved the desired results and met the learning standards?
      • What will be acceptable evidence of learner understanding and proficiency?
deciding on a project
Deciding on a Project
  • Plan Learning Experiences and Instruction
    • What project will equip learners with needed knowledge and skills?
    • What will need to be taught and coached, and how should it best be taught, in light of learning objectives?
    • What is the anticipated timeline to successfully complete the project?
    • What materials and resources are best suited to accomplish these objectives?
project must be
Project must be…
  • Community-based (place-based)
  • Engage students in service learning
  • Interdisciplinary by drawing on multiple disciplines
  • Aligned with Illinois learning standards
  • Able to assess student performance of horticulture knowledge and skills from Master Gardener program
creating a project plan
Creating a Project Plan
  • Identify learning objectives (desired outcomes)
    • Knowledge, skills, and/or concepts
    • Aligned with Illinois Learning Standards
  • Describe “project” that will be presented to students
    • Applications of horticulture knowledge
      • Master Gardener content
      • Interdisciplinary (draws on more than one discipline)
    • Community-Based
      • Place-Based Learning
      • Service Project
    • Key steps and instructions
    • Timeline
  • Create a rubric to evaluate students
    • Performance-based assessment
    • Criteria, levels of performance, and indicators
  • Identify key resources
    • Instructional and learning resources
    • Technology and web-based resources
    • Equipment and laboratory resources
creating a timeline
Creating a Timeline

1. Estimate the amount of time (or days) that your learners would be interested in the project (unit of study).

2. Estimate the amount of time you think is appropriate for the project.

3. Compare your time estimates. Adjust the amount of time for the project, or cut out some of learning objectives, content, or student tasks.

4. Think about the logical sequence of tasks for the project.

5. Place the key steps (daily tasks and topics) of the project on the calendar.

community garden example
Community Garden Example
  • Identify learning objectives (desired outcomes)
    • What do you want the students to be able to know and do at the end of this course?
    • E.g., By the end of the lesson, students will be able to explain the effects of shade on plant growth
  • Identify Illinois Learning Standards that align with the learning objectives
    • E.g., State Goal 12.A.5a Explain changes within cells and organisms in response to stimuli and changing environmental conditions (e.g., homeostasis, dormancy).
  • Identify a project to meet the learning objectives
    • Describe a project that will engage students to learn and apply the Master Gardener content in a community setting
    • E.g., Community garden project to teach problem solving of science concepts such as photosynthesis
  • Identify ways to measure desired outcomes (ways to measure learning)
    • E.g., Students will be assessed through a quiz about photosynthesis, through reflections about their experiments, and through a poster presentation used to discuss what they have learned.
    • Create a rubric to assess the students’ performance in the project
  • Identify performance levels and indicators of performance
    • The quiz will be based on A, B, C, D, F grading scale, reflections will be graded for depth of understanding, and the poster presentation will show that the students can reproduce the experiment
creating a rubric
Creating a Rubric
  • Think of the ideal performance
  • What criteria need to be met to complete the performance?
  • What are the different levels that could be performed on each criterion?
    • A, B, C, D, F (5 levels)
    • Excellent, Good, Average, Unacceptable (4 levels)
    • High, Medium, Low (3 levels)
  • What are the indicators for each criteria and each level?
  • Rubric Resources
guidelines for effective service learning
Guidelines for Effective Service Learning
  • Should last at least 40 hours over a course to yield positive results for students and community
  • There should be clear and specific learning objectives
  • The service learning should have a strong connection to the curriculum that they are studying
  • Teachers and students should work together to draw connections between what students are doing and what they should be learning
    • Source: Students in Service to America,
guidelines for effective service learning con t
Guidelines for Effective Service Learning (con’t)
  • The relationship between service and democratic practices, ideas, and history should be made explicit in order that students see service as a civic responsibility
  • Project participants should be given time to reflect on their service (journaling, discussions, etc. to think critically)
  • Students should have a role not only in executing the project but also in making decisions about development
  • In order to ensure that service is really useful and strengthens community ties, strong partnerships with community groups based on mutually agreed upon goals, roles, and responsibilities are essential
    • Source: Students in Service to America,
service learning projects must
Service Learning Projects Must
  • Have clear learning objectives and be aligned with Illinois learning standards
    • Found at
    • Think how the project can be interdisciplinary and help students meet learning standards in two or more content areas
    • E.g., From the science learning standard under solving problems, “Recognize and investigate problems; formulate and propose solutions based on reason and evidence.”
      • Objective to address this standard: Students will analyze and describe the importance of sunlight for plant growth and hypothesize reasons to support their findings of this importance.
  • Engage students in a service learning project
    • Example: Helping in the community garden
  • Provide a structured experience for learning and reflection
    • Have specific learning goals and require time for reflection
10 steps to implement service learning
10 Steps to Implement Service Learning
  • Assess the needs and resources of your community and school
    • What service would benefit the community and be beneficial for students in the school?
  • Form community partnerships
    • Identify key organizations that would be involved in your proposed project, then identify key individuals within those organizations and within the school
  • Set specific educational goals and curriculum
    • Combining service project with IL learning standards
  • Select a project and begin preliminary planning
  • Plan your project in detail (schedule, benchmarks, budget, evaluation tools)
  • Acquire necessary funding and resources
  • Implement and manage project
  • Organize reflection activities
  • Assess and evaluate your service program
  • Celebrate achievements

Source: Students in Service to America

  • This module should be used to walk you through brainstorming and planning of your Community-Based Horticulture Project
  • Be sure to follow the guidelines given and refer to the grading checklist when working on your project
  • If you have any questions or problems, feel free to contact us
  • Illinois State Learning Standards
  • Students in Service to America
  • Junior Master Gardener Program:
  • Kidsgardening: and
  • Cornell Garden Based Learning:
  • School Gardens:
    • Model Wellness Policy Guide (PDF)
    • Curriculum Integration: Rethinking School Lunch Guide (PDF)
  • Foodbank & Poverty Assistance
    • Food Bank & Poverty Assistance –
    • Atlanta Foodbanks -
  • After School Environmental Education Program -
  • Landscaping Projects
    • Designing for Shade and Energy Conservation (PDF)
    • Landscaping Youth Guide (PDF)
  • Outdoor Learning Environments
  • Ecological Literacy
  • The Learning Grounds Guide for Schools (PDF)
  • Thinking Outside the Classroom (PDF)
  • Connecting Youth and Elders – Intergenerational Mentoring Program
  • Garden Mosaics – The Science Teacher Article (PDF)