{AGSM 440 Management of Agricultural Systems II}

College: Agriculture and Life Sciences
Department: Biological & Agricultural Engineering
Type: C
Status: Approved

Proposer: Gerald Riskowski & Russell McGee
Number: 5-7619/5-3659
Email: Riskowski@tamu.edu/ romcgee@tamu.edu



We recommend that AGSM 440 Management of Agricultural Systems II be certified as a Communications (C) course for four academic years (1/15 to 1/19). We have reviewed a representative syllabus and have determined that the course meets or exceeds the following criteria:

  1. Percentage of final grade based on writing quality: 73%
  2. Course content appropriate to the major
  3. Total number of words: 12,000
  4. Total minutes of presentation: 32
  5. Instructor to student ratio for one section: 1:15

The course has been changed from a W course to a C course. It is now required that students give four oral progress reports during the semester, as well as a final report at the end of the semester. Previously, the students worked on one large project over two semesters (AGSM 439 and AGSM 440), but now the students work on one simpler project in AGSM 439, then work on a more complex problem in this course (AGSM 440). This has led to a larger amount of writing in AGSM 440. Students write an individual section of a group report; a final report; slides for their four progress reports; and a poster. For oral work, they give four progress reports; a final report presentation; and a poster presentation. Of these assignments, the final report and the poster presentation are collaborative. Each of the individual major writing assignment sections for the semester project goes through three stages. The first stage is for the students to submit a draft version of the report, the second stage is feedback provided by the instructors; and the third stage is for the students to submit a revised final report that incorporates the feedback. The four progress reports and the poster presentation get immediate feedback from peers, the instructor, and clients. Because there are five similar presentations, other formative feedback is not needed. The instructors give five presentations to review business writing style, to present expectations for oral progress reports and peer reviews, to critique the progress reports when they are all completed, to present expectations of the final written and oral report, and to discuss expectations for posters and poster presentations.

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