Seeing the problem

Seeing the problem

Mar 13
Walt Hurley, Professor of Animal Sciences

A while back, I had introduced an activity in the Lactation Biology class that took place at the Dairy Farm (2-7-13). During the following week, student groups continued their discussions and solved several additional mastitis case studies. They were challenged to develop their case solutions and address several specific tasks, including developing a description of each case, identifying the primary risk factors contributing to the problem, identifying the most likely type of mastitis and the most likely pathogen causing the problem, and making recommendations to fix the problem and prevent future problems.

To report their findings, we used a visual method I call a mosaic. Student groups draw pictures that represent their findings and conclusions. The pictures are posted around the classroom walls. Drawings from several groups for each case illustrate the collective vision of those students about the cases and their solutions to the cases. Students from each group then go to the wall and explain a part of their case solution to the rest of the class. At the end, I provide the original findings and final conclusions about the cases from Dr. Morin.

Such a report allows for a broader, more creative means of communicating the students’ findings and conclusions compared to a written report. The approach also provides an efficient means for each group to share their findings with the rest of the class. It allows me to respond to their visual report in a manner where all students can gain from my comments. And, it provides an environment conducive to creativity and fun.

Walt Hurley's Class