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IMPLEMENTATION OF PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING IN FOOD SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DEGREE

Problem-based learning (PBL) is a pedagogy method in which students learn about a subject by solving a problem similar to any they might find in a real situation. In this context, students’ learning is initiated and consequently driven by a need to solve an authentic real-world problem. Teaching content through skills is one of the main features of PBL. Implementation of problem-based learning involves the consideration of various components: the role of the teacher as facilitator of learning; self-directed learning and collaborative learning of students.

Teacher as facilitator of learning affords a motivational function in that students realize the relevance of the knowledge adquired for their professional future or for their personal context. The main role of the instructor in PBL is modeling expert-like problem solving and reasoning processes for the students, instead of disseminating the knowledge. The self-directed learning component in PBL helps students actively, rather than passively to develop specific problem solving skills and motivates students to take initiatives in the problem solving process, as well as the learning process. Finally, collaborative learning in small groups is also one of the most important components in PBL in which individuals interact with each other to solve problems.

In this sense, this work focuses on the implementation of the problem-based learning on a proposal activity in the course of Sensory Analysis of the Food Science and Technology Degree. The proposed activity is the development of an application of sensory analysis in food industry, setting a target and developing sensory analysis tests to achieve it.

Among the different factors involved in the PBL cited above, teacher’s role, self-directed component and collaborative learning were analyzed by obtaining several results of the learning process. The results of the implementation were evaluated using rubrics applied in each of the contexts. After the analysis of the results improvement strategies were proposed to be put into practice.