TEACHING AND LEARNING EXPERIENCES IN BIOPROCESS ENGINEERING
From 2004-05 academic year, a reform of educational system was performed in the Faculty of Biology (University of Vigo). A new teaching methodology very different from that which was common 30 years ago with non-participatory lectures and classes based on taking notes was established. A new Bioprocess Engineering course was designed and successfully implemented until today. Bioprocess Engineering is the sub-discipline within biotechnology that is responsible for translating life-science discoveries into practical products, processes, or systems capable of serving the needs of society.
In several papers the application of new technology to biotechnology courses had been described. In these papers it was reported that the combination of web-technology, knowledge of bioprocess engineering and theories for learning and instruction might yield innovative bioprocess engineering learning methods. Several of the recommendations found in the literature were integrated in our course structure in order to develop a pedagogically novel approach to teaching of modern discoveries of biotechnology at a level most students of biology can comprehend and apply.
In this study a revision of the project developed is presented. In this system, several teaching strategies and learning systems including brief lectures, in-class small group discussions, journal reflection writings, case-based learning material, laboratory work, service-learning project, collaborative learning, industrial visits,… were effectively integrated into class facilitating the achievement of the learning objectives of the course. Also the elaboration of new learning material was a useful addition for bioprocess engineering education. After five years, we verified the total integration of the students into the system, participating and proposing numerous activities. Summing up, we can conclude that the teaching and learning course was successful. We detected that the knowledge of methods, practical applications and the reality of biotechnology was increased significantly with this methodology.
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