STORIES in Agriculture and Life Sciences


Susan Thompson


Russ Mullen has seen 14,000 students move through his classrooms since he joined the agronomy faculty in 1978. Of those, 10,000 were in the introductory agronomy course, which he has been teaching for more than 30 years. "This is the course and students that continue to motivate me the most," says Mullen. "It has given me a creative opportunity to innovate in teaching methods and improve learning tools for students." "Emphasis is placed on individualized learning rather than large group instruction with one-on-one instruction in a learning center," he says. "Students have flexibility in structuring their learning and quizzing schedule, using a variety of tools such as computer-based video, practice learning and hands-on demonstrations." Students also apply their learning by discussing and troubleshooting agronomic problems in weekly small group sessions.