Faculty-led Inquiry into Reflective and Scholarly Teaching (FIRST)


FDST 420: Fruits and Vegetables Technology – A Peer Review of Teaching Project Benchmark Portfolio

Charles Nwaizu, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The aim of this portfolio is twofold: first, the portfolio serves to document the author’s approach to teaching while also providing necessary tools to revamp the course delivery methods to a more active learning format from traditional lecture format. Secondly, this portfolio evaluates the effects of students’ group lab discussion, students Interactive class trivia and interdisplinary students’ collaboration active learning approaches on student learning and performances in the course. The student group lab discussion activity involved modification of some of the lab tasks to include short questions listed under the lab procedure. These questions were discussed within the group and answer(s) were provided in their reports and feedbacks were returned to the students. After, which specified homeworks were designed to contextualize aspects of the lab task and lab discussion questions. The student interactive class trivia activity involved students answering in-class designed pre and post quiz’s question that pertains to real-life challenges in the processing of fruits and vegetables. And the interdisplinary students’ collaboration active learning activity involved a semester one-month-long interdisplinary collaborative project designed in collaboration with another Instructor of a graphics design course (GRPH 391 – Special Topics in Graphic Design) offered in the department of graphic design, University of Nebraska, Lincoln where majority of the students are predominately native English speakers. The project aims to improve students success skills by allowing students from this course (FDST 420 - Fruits and Vegetable Processing Technology) work collaboratively with students from the graphic design course (GRPH 391 – Special Topics in Graphic Design). Overall, from the results obtained, students performed significantly better on quizzes, homeworks and exams as a result of the active learning approaches introduced and implemented within the framework of the course. This was most pronounced for students with average performance, whereas high performing students performed well regardless of how the concepts were introduced. These findings suggest that introducing active learning approaches in delivering concepts and/or theories in fruits and vegetable technology course will improves student learning.