ASSESSMENT OF THE STARTING POINT AND THE KNOWLEDGE ACQUIRED AFTER FOOD ENGINEERING PRACTICAL TASKS USING ONLINE TESTS TAKEN TWICE ON THE POLIFORMAT PLATFORM
In order to catch students’ attention when carrying out a given activity, one possibility is to show them what they are going to learn and why it is useful. There are different ways to do this, but one particular way that might be quite appealing for students is asking them about concepts and matters that are related to the activity they are subsequently going to perform, just to see what they actually know without having studied the topic. By doing so, students can be made aware of their starting point and predict what they will be able to learn from the activity. If students are aware that they will be asked similar questions once the practical task has finished to assess part of their mark, they will be more likely to concentrate on the aim of the task and each of its steps. Thus, in this article we show the results of the students’ learning process when performing practical tasks for a subject by assessing the students’ knowledge before and after attending a lab and listening to the lecturer’s explanation. For this purpose, we use online tests uploaded to the educational platform PoliformaT of UPV (Universitat Politècnia de València) in the academic course 12-13 for the subject “Fundamentals of Food Industry Engineering” (second year). It is noteworthy that these tests were set up to provide feed-back to students by including comments on correctly and incorrectly answered questions. What was quite surprising was that despite the fact that the practical sessions were related to the concepts and activities covered in the theoretical classes, the majority of students obtained low marks the first time they took the test. These results evidence the necessity of carrying out practical tasks in order to support theoretical knowledge. Finally, students welcomed this educational innovation because it helped them to consolidate the knowledge acquired in the practical tasks.