Abstract for: Learning to Teach System Dynamics in Agricultural and Resource Management Before and After the Competence Development Framework

This paper presents the design, evaluation, and effectiveness of achieving student learner outcomes of a first- and second-time taught system dynamics (SD) modeling course to students at a minority serving institution focusing on agricultural and natural resource management disciplines. The first course design incorporated concepts from four other SD courses taught at other institutions but in similar disciplinary environments (the “applied” sequence), as well as from expert SD educators (the “canonical” sequence; Richardson 2014a). The second course was revised with the goal of strengthening the assessment tools and evaluation procedures based on the learning outcomes outlined in the SD competence development framework (Schaffernicht and Groesser, 2016). The adjustments made struck a healthier balance between the applied and canonical sequences, supported a more active learning environment, and aided in stronger achievement levels in learning outcomes for the year 2 cohort despite them being slightly poorer performers compared to the year 1 cohort. Although no major adjustments in the course content were made between courses and only a few minor changes in the weekly course outline, future adjustments will focus on strengthening course content through addition of modeling examples and case studies to widen the number of applications students are exposed to.