Assessment of Experiential Learning and Teaching Approaches in Undergraduate Programmes at the School of Agricultural Sciences, Makerere University, Uganda

Opolot Henry Nakelet, Isubikalu Prossy, Obaa Bonton Bernard, Ebanyat Peter, Okello Dorothy


Competent graduates are a critical input in enhancing the university’s role in agricultural transformation. How graduates play their role in contributing to development mirrors on how they trained. Low quality graduates are believed to be a product of a more subject-centered and instructive style of teaching. The Makerere University Kampala School of Agricultural Sciences (SAS) made effort to improve and enhance the competence of its lecturers to use a learner centered teaching approach in its programmes through training. This paper presents an assessment of how the training influenced the lecturers to use different teaching practices toward producing quality responsive graduates. Data was collected from 120 students and 20 lectures from the SAS using a semi-structured questionnaire. The findings show that Training lecturers in experiential learning influenced their awareness and use of experiential learning approaches in delivery of the courses they taught. Effective application of experiential learning approaches was constrained by challenges of varied understanding and appreciation of the concept among lecturers, short class periods, large class sizes and financial limitations. In effect, the traditional lecture method remained dominant. Above all, application of experiential learning approaches is not institutionalized at SAS thus limiting the attainment of critical and reflective thinking for the attainment of lifelong learning abilities among students. To strengthen application of experiential learning approaches, training of all lecturers and curriculum review to integrate experiential learning practices as part of the general teaching quality assurance measures is critical.

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International Journal of Higher Education
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