Teachers and students’ perception of competence-based education in the agricultural higher education system (Case of a student cooperative in Iran)

Mahsa Saadvandi, Enayat Abbasi*, Homayoun Farhadian, Kiumars Zarafshani, Harm Biemans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: This quantitative study sought to investigate the perceptions of teachers and students regarding competency-based education (CBE) principles at the College of Agriculture at Razi University. Design: This research is a comparative analysis of two groups. The first group consists of undergraduate and graduate students majoring in agriculture who are members and non-members of student cooperatives (n = 256). The second group consists of agricultural faculty members (n = 59). Findings: The results of this study show that students and teachers have different views with regard to the extent to which CBE principles are practiced in the College of Agriculture. Moreover, students with different learning patterns had different perceptions regarding the extent to which CBE is practiced, whereas teachers with different teaching patterns had the same perception of the application of CBE principles in the College of Agriculture. Practical implications: This study has practical implications for agricultural higher education in general and colleges of agriculture in particular. Colleges of agriculture across Iran could encourage their students to establish and engage in student cooperatives so that the ‘what’ and ‘how’ aspects of CBE are put into practice. Theoretical implications: This study has theoretical implications for CBE principles. For example, student cooperatives can be utilized by faculty members as one of the main strategies for developing CBE in agricultural colleges. Originality/value: This study is original in that it moves from theory to practice when considering CBE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-322
JournalJournal of Agricultural Education and Extension
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2019



  • competence-based education
  • Perception
  • student cooperative

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