Implementing experiential learning activities in a large enrollment introductory food science and human nutrition course

Dawn M. Bohn, Shelly J. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Experiential learning activities are often viewed as impractical, and potentially unfeasible, instructional tools to employ in a large enrollment course. Research has shown, though, that the metacognitive skills that students utilize while participating in experiential learning activities enable them to assess their true level of understanding and mastery of the subject matter. The objectives of this study were to (1) create and implement 2 experiential learning activities in our introductory, large enrollment course and (2) evaluate their cognitive and affective impact on student learning. For the 1st activity, completed in class during the nutrition and health section, the instructional team asked the students to complete a dietary intake assessment. For the 2nd activity, completed via the course website, the instructional team asked the students to complete a food safety survey prior to the commencement of the food microbiology and processing section to assess the students' own personal food safety behaviors. The students were asked to evaluate both the cognitive and affective aspects of the experiential learning activities by completing a reflective questionnaire after participating in each activity. The majority of the students that participated in the experiential learning activities reported that the activities helped them learn the course material (97% for the dietary intake activity and 77% for the food safety activity) and that they liked participating in the activity (85% for the dietary intake activity) or were engaged by the activity (77% for the food safety activity). These results indicate that experiential learning activities can be successfully created for and implemented in large enrollment courses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-13
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Food Science Education
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Education

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