Perceptions on Experiential Learning: A Study of Agriculture Students

Sajeev M.V. and K. Narayana Gowda


The inadequacy of the agricultural curricula of Under-Graduate degree programme in India to provide adequate level of professional competencies was often commented upon. This led to the development of a rigorous field programme with emphasis on practical reorientation of farm students to the rural agricultural operation systems and totality of farm life. A new course, Rural Agricultural Work Experience (RAWE) Programme was introduced in the Agricultural Universities in India, which emphasizes on ‘learning through experience’ and facilitates the students to completely understand the rural scenario. The Kerala Agricultural University (KAU), Vellanikkara, introduced RAWE for its B.Sc. (Agriculture) degree programme during 1999-2000. This pioneer study about RAWE was undertaken to study the extent to which the objectives of the programme are fulfilled as perceived by students at KAU, to find out the profile of students and its relationship with their perception and to seek suggestions from students for effective implementation. The findings revealed that the RAWE programme was highly successful in improving the communication and leadership skills of students along with providing an opportunity to work in agri-based industries but was weak in providing practical experience in crop production at field level and get acquainted with the on-going TOT programmes. Rural-urban background, medium of instruction, achievement motivation, leadership qualities and mass media usage had a positive significance while educational level of parents, annual income of family and self-confidence had negatively significant relationship with perception. The suggestions given by students include increasing the duration of each module, matching RAWE with cropping season, increasing the stipend and providing it in time and keeping away student politics at least in RAWE

Keyword: Students’ perception; RAW

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