Challenging the notion of “teaching by telling,” active learning utilizes a student-oriented approach by emphasizing the concept of knowledge retention through peer interaction. To further examine the potential of active learning, we created a workshop based on didactic education and student collaboration. Participants included undergraduate students from traditionally under-represented and disadvantaged backgrounds. The workshop was part of our summer academic enrichment program run in an urban, medically underserved community. The workshop focused on clinical and biochemical nutrition, wherein students synthesized information by discussing dietary choices and the socioeconomic aspects of nutrition. Student reception of the workshop was adjudged by anonymous surveys. The survey questions were designed to gauge how the workshop objectives were achieved. Cronbach alpha (0.276) confirmed that there was more than a single theme contained in the questions. The majority of students (97%) agreed that the workshop met the learning objectives: (1) acquire basic clinical knowledge, (2) gain a better understanding of nutrition, (3) formulate a linkage between clinical nutrition and disease, and (4) benefit from peer interaction. Students’ performance in the post-quiz (100% correct answers) had improved significantly compared to the pre-quiz (25% correct answers) suggesting acquisition, understanding and application of nutrition aspects taught in the workshop. Overall, the present study demonstrated the engagement and understanding of students with respect to learning about nutrition and community health in an active learning setting. These types of active-learning-based sessions may have broad applicability for any academic discipline to improve student engagement and knowledge retention.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Computer Science (miscellaneous)
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Public Administration
- Computer Science Applications