Experimental learning paying off

August 20, 2012

Through the use of the Online Health Program Planner, a tool created by Public Health Ontario, a soon-to-be-implemented peer nutrition education program by and for university students looks to help enhance critical thinking skills.

In an article published in the July issue of American Journal of , co-authors June Matthews and Paula Dworatzek, both associate professors at Brescia University College, reported on the unique experiential learning assignment whereby students used a novel online tool with real-world applications.

Problem-based learning, combined with the teaching pedagogy over a three-year span, allowed the students to focus on developing core competencies in public health.

“What was really interesting and rewarding about this assignment, was observing the students transition from feeling overwhelmed by a self-directed learning process to being confident in the quality and quantity of work that they accomplished,” said Dworatzek.

Laura Vandervet, a former student in the program, said, “navigating through the Online Health Program Planner helped to integrate academic principles and imparted skills important to my current position as a Health Promotions Planner.”

“This is really a report on ,” added Dworatzek, who taught the course with Matthews. Both professors saw a need to combine community nutrition with an emphasis on program planning and evaluation that could be applied in a real-world setting.

The students who took the course were all graduate students who had a deep understanding of technology, aiding in the success of the findings, said Matthews.

“The Ontario Health Program Planner is well-suited for the millennial generation,” she said. “These highly-connected students quickly grasped the benefit of using an online approach to program planning, similar to what individuals in units across the province are already doing.”

Going forward, Matthews and Dworatzek hope students are able to develop and evaluate new strategies similar to the peer , where the information is relevant to the .

Explore further: Spatial configuration can spark deja vu, psychology study reveals

Related Stories

Spatial configuration can spark deja vu, psychology study reveals

May 24, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Déjà vu - that strange feeling of having experienced something before - is more likely to occur when a scene's spatial layout resembles one in memory, according to groundbreaking new research ...

Young children need to be taught coping skills

August 13, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Children should be taught coping skills the same way they are taught to hold a pen or ride a bike, according to experts from Melbourne University’s Graduate School of Education.

Cooking in the classroom to fight childhood obesity

November 8, 2011
Based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other reports that childhood obesity has tripled over the past 30 years, we recognize the importance of reaching our children early to form good food habits. However, ...

Scientists seek to increase science literacy

July 18, 2011
A scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and colleague at Emory University are seeking to persuade the National Science Foundation to reevaluate its decision to cancel a program that has placed 10,000 science graduate ...

Recommended for you

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

Team eradicates hepatitis C in 10 patients following lifesaving transplants from infected donors

April 30, 2017
Ten patients at Penn Medicine have been cured of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) following lifesaving kidney transplants from deceased donors who were infected with the disease. The findings point to new strategies for increasing ...

'bench to bedside to bench': Scientists call for closer basic-clinical collaborations

March 24, 2017
In the era of genome sequencing, it's time to update the old "bench-to-bedside" shorthand for how basic research discoveries inform clinical practice, researchers from The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), National Human Genome Research ...

The ethics of tracking athletes' biometric data

January 18, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—Whether it is a FitBit or a heart rate monitor, biometric technologies have become household devices. Professional sports leagues use some of the most technologically advanced biodata tracking systems to ...

Financial ties between researchers and drug industry linked to positive trial results

January 18, 2017
Financial ties between researchers and companies that make the drugs they are studying are independently associated with positive trial results, suggesting bias in the evidence base, concludes a study published by The BMJ ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.