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Abstract

Problem-based learning (PBL) is an increasingly popular pedagogy in the college classroom. Students enrolled in an agricultural sales course were exposed to this teaching method through the completion of a semester-long sales project. The project requires students to work in pairs to develop a sales call plan and pitch the sale of an agricultural product or service to a potential customer. Following completion of the semester-long project, students were surveyed about their perceptions of learning using PBL, learning outcomes, and employability skills gained. Roughly half of the students (53%, n=19) recommended the instructor use problem-based activities in the course again. Additionally, students agreed the project made the subject matter more realistic (4.22 ± 0.72) and improved their comprehension (4.06 ± 0.58) on a five-point Likert scale. They agreed the Ready, Set, Sell project helped develop preparation skills (4.06 ± 0.72), presentation skills (4.06 ± 0.72), and interpersonal skills (4.06 ± 0.67). These findings yield several recommendations, including the need for additional research measuring student’s learning style with PBL and comparing PBL’s effectiveness to other teaching methods used in agricultural sales courses.

 

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