A SELF-LEARNING TOXICOLOGY EXPERIENCE

E. Ramos, C. García-Cantón, A. Romero

Universidad Complutense de Madrid (SPAIN)
Several aspects should be considered when designing innovative teaching methods. Setting the objectives to reach is necessary to achieve a positive training experience. In this practice with food science students of toxicology, the objective was to develop a self-learning experience applying the acquired knowledge in theoretical lectures.

To this end, we design an e-learning method that consolidates the acquired competences along the academic year. We propose a learning pathway with molecules contained in food, naturally or as a contaminant. Students analyzed Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationships (QSAR), obtaining predictions for a variety of toxic properties, and completing this information with official databases. We intended to offer the students their first experience managing industry-based cases encouraging self-directed and collaborative work. Students were divided into four groups. Each group was responsible for finding safety and toxicity information available about several food science-related molecules.

The experience was reviewed by each student through a survey completed after the experience. These surveys were divided into 3 blocks. The first block included questions about the learning experience. The second part involved questions about teaching aspects. Finally, the last block was about the methodology.

The obtained results were very encouraging. All the students considered the experience as a positive practice to efficaciously set knowledge. Furthermore, when comparing this experience with classical lectures each of them expressed a clear preference for this method.