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Webinar on Making University Lessons More Interactive

From 23-25 January 2019, the Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI) conducted Training on Transformation of Agricultural Education through Knowledge Management and Capacity Development for More Effective Agricultural Innovation System (AIS) for professors, administrators and PhD students of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU). It was organized in collaboration with the Food for Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and Global Confederation of Higher Education Associations for Agricultural and Life Sciences (GCHERA) in Coimbatore, India.

The workshop developed participants’ knowledge of the key concepts and processes of Capacity Development for Agricultural Innovation Systems (CD for AIS) and knowledge management (KM), to guide transformation of agricultural education in order to develop students’ skills needed by the market to enable them to better address the complex agrifood challenges after their graduation. Building on the academic model of the EARTH’s University in Costa Rica that has influenced university transformations all over the world, the participants learned about the key elements of successful transformation of agricultural education systems, such as bringing business, ethical and value-based leadership and experiential development to agricultural universities. During the workshop, the facilitators used the concepts, tools and approaches of the Common Framework on CD for AIS, to take stock of TNAU’s current and desired KM and CD practices, and helped them design their own roadmap towards the university transformation.

As a follow up to the workshop, APAARI has conducted a short survey to identify immediate needs of TNAU staff to inspire their transformation from teachers into leaders that promote career development in agricultural professions. The most highly ranked need identified in the survey was to “Make university lectures and seminars more interactive”.

Target Group
The webinar targets professors and deans of TNAU, as well as the innovation champions identified during the above-mentioned workshop.

Webinar Objectives
The 1.5 hour webinar will be facilitated by APAARI for TNAU staff through an online platform – Bluejeans – designed especially for webinars. The target audience is professors and interested students (up to 100 people can participate in one webinar at one time).

Overall, the webinar aims to enhance the participants’ capacity to deliver more interactive lectures and seminars to develop agricultural students’ soft skills, such as confidence, critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and negotiation, to help them become more innovative and empowered in their future careers in agriculture and rural development. Specifically, the webinar aims to enhance the participants’ capacity to:
1. Develop more effective communication with students.
2. Integrate interesting ways of introducing, presenting and discussing module topics.
3. Interact with students and engage them in discussions.
4. Introduce interactive tools and materials.


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