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M. Pazos, M.A. Longo, M.A. Sanromán

University of Vigo (SPAIN)
The course Bioprocess Engineering is designed to introduce the student to the principles of Biochemical Engineering, and its application to some of the most important operations in the Biotechnology Industry. In recent years, Biochemical Engineering has reached a major impact. In this course, the students acquire a global understanding of the biochemical processes (either fermentative or enzymatic). As such, tools such as fundamentals of industrial biotechnology, enzymatic and fermentative process kinetics and the introduction to reactor calculations based on mass balance. From there, concepts about unitary operations directly linked to biochemical processes of the biotechnology industry, such as the sterilization of means and equipment will be studied, as well as airing and stirring in bioreactors. After this part of theoretical fundamentals is over, the focus shifts to fundamentals of increased and decreased scaling and the applications of biochemical processes.
Recently, the application of new technology to biotechnology courses had been described [1]. The rapid development of Internet communication technology has made e-Learning an attractive alternative tool to facilitate learning and increase the student motivation [2]. 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. In this course the teaching strategies and learning systems was Lectures, tutorial and practical, in-class discussion, journal reflection, laboratory practice, conceptual maps, collaborative learning, seminar work with oral presentation, industrial visits, hands-on, web-based learning and assessment tools, service-learning portfolio,…
In this paper these teaching strategies have been described. Moreover, the results obtained in the interviews realised along the course in order to determine the satisfaction of the students have been showed. The results obtained permit to verify the total integration of the students into the system, participating and proposing numerous activities. Students were satisfied with new teaching methodology developed in the pilot experience and most of them wished to continue using these new strategies.

[1] Evans C, Gibbons NJ, Shah K, Griffin DK. Virtual learning in the biological sciences: Pitfalls of simply "putting notes on the web". Computers and Education (2004), 43 (1-2):49-61.
[2] Bodzin AM, Cates WM. Enhancing preservice teachers’ understanding of web-based scientific inquiry. Journal of Science Teacher Education (2003), 14:237-257.