An innovative approach in teaching public health nutrition to university students

Farzad Amirabdollahian

Abstract


Recent study suggests that learning principles of public health related topics in programmes concentrating on management of a patient’s clinical condition at individual level, is a problematic area; whilst introducing a variety of educational activities including work and/or experience based learning may offer the potential to address the issue. This paper reports on an innovative approach for enhancing classroom engagement and the overall learning experience of students studying public health nutrition. A package consisting of ten pedagogical interventions such as an animated online environment and role play was introduced. A combination of qualitative and quantitative evaluation was conducted; generally students believed that their overall engagement had improved and all activities were to some extent useful in improving their engagement. Among the activities, the flexible structure of the module, continuous and regular post it note evaluation and role play were seen as most favourable. All criteria in the module evaluation improved considerably compared with the previous year, providing evidence for the enhanced learning experience. Some of the activities that are included in this study might be applicable to other programmes; however discipline specific research is required prior to implementation. Further research is required to accurately evaluate student engagement.


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