Universidad Complutense de Madrid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2022 Proceedings
Publication year: 2022
Pages: 1275-1281
ISBN: 978-84-09-37758-9
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2022.0385
Conference name: 16th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-8 March, 2022
Location: Online Conference
The return to university classes after Covid-19 lockdown has been a world-wide challenge for both students and lecturers. For the students of the elective subject “Interdisciplinary Teaching on Food Industries” in the fourth course of Food Science and Technology Degree, visiting different food industries is essential to learn how the theoretical concepts interact and apply in a professional context. Thus, during the worldwide pandemic scenario, it was necessary to find an alternative to this learning tool when the face-to face visits were not an option.

According to that, the objective of this experience was to develop a series of innovative teaching materials and strategies to complement and/or virtualize the visits to food industries premises to maintain the practical and industry/university collaborative nature of this subject. The materials generated and the interaction with the technical staff responsible for the industries were aimed to allow students to learn and critically analyze the working system of food industries, even without a face-to-face visit.

With the innovative materials generated through the close collaboration between lecturers, students and the technical staff of the food industries, different teaching activities were designed with the aim to actively facilitate the students’ learning and development of skills. Searching for information about the companies, interactions with the technical staff responsible for each food industry (either in the classroom, the industry premises or through remote teaching tools), and oral presentations about the industries, including a critical evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the companies from a Food Science and Technology point of view, have been some of the strategies used to facilitate learning and to evaluate the students’ progress.

Evaluation of the experience by the students was based on 1-5 scale of satisfaction. The different aspects evaluated were: theoretical content of the subject, development of teaching/learning activities, usefulness and quality of the Virtual Campus contents, interest in industries visited, organization and coordination of the subject, lecturers’ skills, interest and collaboration in the group of students, and final results obtained. Scores obtained were in the range of 3.8 to 4.4, indicating a good acceptance among the students. Several open questions were included in the evaluation to gather additional comments and suggestions from the students. Most of them preferred face-to face visits upon virtual ones, however they agreed in that virtual ones were very dynamic, with well-qualified technical staff from each industry, allowing to gather additional learning aspects that were not usually acquired in face to-face visits, and allowing to visit geographically distant industries. Feedback from the industries involved in the experience was also very positive.
Food science and technology, remote learning, practical learning, food industry, multidisciplinary, university/industry collaboration.