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The use of an active learning approach to teach metabolism to students of nutrition and dietetics.

Authors
  • González-Sancho, José Manuel
  • Sánchez-Pacheco, Aurora
  • Lasa, Marina
  • Molina, Susana
  • Vara, Francisco
  • del Peso, Luis
Type
Published Article
Journal
Biochemistry and molecular biology education : a bimonthly publication of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2013
Volume
41
Issue
3
Pages
131–138
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1002/bmb.20684
PMID: 23483652
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

This article describes the transition from a traditional instructor-centered course, based on lectures, to a student-centered course based on active learning methodologies as part of the reform of the Spanish higher education system within the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). Specifically, we describe the use of active learning methodologies to teach metabolism to students of nutrition and dietetics during the first year of their professional training in a 4-year undergraduate degree (Bachelor of Human Nutrition and Dietetics). In the new course design, the number of didactic lectures was largely reduced and complemented with a series of activities (problems/case studies, discussion workshops, self-assessment quizzes) aimed to get students actively engaged, to encourage self-learning, and to promote sustained work throughout the length of the course. The article presents quantitative data demonstrating a clear and significant improvement in students' performance when an active approach was implemented. Importantly, the improved performance was achieved without work overload. Finally, students' responses to this new teaching methodology have been very positive and overall satisfaction high. In summary, our results strongly argue in favor of the teaching model described herein.

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