Impact of activating learning series on participation and student learning of Food Science Master students

  • Clarissa Schwab formerly Food Biotechnology, ETHZ


Active learning is a student-centered teaching approach, which involves students through group discussions, problem solving, case studies, and summarizing concepts. My previous lectures were characterized by low level of student participation and a lack of feedback. It was the aim of this study to implement activating learning series in an already existing lecture to increase participation and learner autonomy of Food Science Master students. Student group and single activities alternating with 2-20 min long lectures by the tutor replaced the standard 45 min frontal lectures. At the end of the third lecture, a questionnaire was distributed to students to evaluate lecturer, exercises, motivation and learning autonomy. The lecturer filled a self-evaluation sheet after each lecture. The average score regarding the lecturer was 3.7 ±1.1 (median value: 4). The introduction of exercises was highly appreciated (4.2 ±0.9 (median value: 4). In regard to learner autonomy, the majority of students felt motivated, in control and confident after the lectures. Adjustments will be necessary to fit lecture content to the new lecture set-up (for e.g. overall number of slides) and to enhance the proportion of students showing learner autonomy, but in general, this study was a successful teaching experiment showing the benefits of introducing activating learning series for Food Science Master students, but also for the lecturer.


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