University of Granada (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2012 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Pages: 5573-5577
ISBN: 978-84-615-5563-5
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2012
Location: Valencia, Spain
Virtual technologies are changing the traditional and practical teaching. New didactic methodologies deserve special attention given that they are based on use of the new information and communication technologies (ICT), always present in students’ lives, from primary school to postdoctoral stages. ITCs are being used extensively by many Universities along the world, an illustrative example of this, it is enough to call to mind the case of 90% of Spanish students and professors using virtual platforms.

Education models are always changing, never more so than at the present. E-learning and Blended learning (B-learning) claim to be the fastest growing methodologies used in education. This can be due to the many tools available that allow students to study anywhere and anytime. E-learning is based on distance teaching, by using different on-line communication resources and a virtual tutor is present to assist students during the course. B-learning is characterized by the combination of the face-to-face and virtual lessons, allowing contact between trainees and professors to promote human interaction online and offline. Moreover, the latter increases the quality of education because students have more means to broaden their knowledge and to go into any topic in depth given that a series of tools are available such as lists of topics, links, videos, books and others teaching materials.

Recently, an improvement in platform performance has been achieved by the introduction of the Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment (Moodle). The advantages of moodle, among others are: it is an open source, easy for students, flexible, it has a simple programming language (PHP) and its administration is easy for students and professors.

Functional food is characterized by possessing bioactive compounds. For this reason, the first stage is to search, to characterize and to identify bioactive compounds.

The aim of this work is to carry out a new teaching methodology to search and to characterize bioactive compounds through B-learning using face-to-face seminars and different collaborative tools provided by Moodle. This topic is a part of the “Analytical Methodologies for the analysis and characterization of functional ingredients” module belonging to the postgraduate program in “Functional Food” of Granada University.

A semi-virtual laboratory it is being created within a website. In this site the description of laboratory materials and their uses, interesting links, some videos and others have been uploaded for students’ use. Students can access to this site through a link which is in Moodle Platform. The face-to-face lessons will be carried out in the traditional laboratory.

With this method it is intended that students acquire a series of competencies as critical thinking ability, synthetic thinking, ability to choose the relevant information and coherent writing competencies as well as that they learn the contents. Group forums, databases and questionnaires are a few examples of the tools proposed in this study to support collaborative pedagogical approaches in learning content management system.

This research is possible thanks to a teaching innovation project called “Introduction of the New Information and Communication Technologies for Improving the Nutraceutical and Functional Food Expert Course” coded 11-424 of the University of Granada.
Bioactive compounds characterization, Blended Learning, Moodle, virtual laboratory.