RISE partners with agronomy to inform curriculum development and departmental assessment

December 20, 2017

The School of Education’s Research Institute for Studies in Education (RISE) began a five-year partnership with Iowa State’s Department of Agronomy to conduct a comprehensive curriculum assessment and outcomes alignment study to improve undergraduate agronomy education at Iowa State.

“The Agronomy department strives to provide science-based academic foundation for our undergraduates that develops the exceptional agronomic skills needed as they transition into their careers and their futures,” said Dr. Allen Knapp, Professor of Agronomy and associate chair of academics for the Department of Agronomy. “We know agronomy, and we are excited to leverage the expertise of RISE to help us develop a process to continuously evolve our curriculum.”

Joshua Mitchell will lead the project in collaboration with Knapp and Professor Kendall Lamkey, chair of the Department of Agronomy. Data collection will include existing institutional data, departmental data, and new data collection from students, faculty, employers, alumni, and industry leaders.

“The goal of this project is to create a continuous improvement plan to inform curriculum development, assessment, and outcome alignment,” said Mitchell. “Data sources will include course-level data, stakeholder surveys, and institutional records.”

The assessment will align individual course learning goals and outcomes with learning goals for the Department of Agronomy, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and national agriculture education standards.

“Our goal is to be the top agronomy program in the country,” said Professor Lamkey. “Exceptional undergraduate education is the first step.”

“Iowa State has a wealth of information available to aid in program review and assessment,” said Mitchell.

RISE will work with staff in the Office of Institutional Research and the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning to leverage existing institutional data and resources.


Joshua Mitchell, Research Institute for Studies in Education, 515-294-6234, jjm1@iastate.edu

Allen Knapp, Department of Agronomy, 515-294-9830, adknapp@iastate.edu

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