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International Journal of Engineering Education ; 38(5):1595-1605, 2022.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-2101726


The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many changes in learning methodologies at all educational levels, including higher education. Under these circumstances, one of the most difficult challenges to face is to approach practical and laboratory learning at university when students' attendance to the physical laboratory space is restricted. The future graduates of Bachelor's Degree in Biotechnology are appealed to master many instrumental techniques related to this field. The article describes the scaffolding actions carried out to successfully adapt onsite laboratory sessions to virtual ones and evaluate the students' perception about the contribution of the online methodologies to the practical skills of bioprocess engineering. Two voluntary groups of students were formed, one to attend the practical lessons on site and the other online. The suggested scaffolding was structured in four different types of materials and resources: screencasts, pedagogical articles, calculation sheet templates and online assessment tests. Students' perception was collected by means of an e-questionnaire. About 70% of students thought the online platform allowed them to follow the practical tasks in a way equivalent to face-to-face teaching and 62.1% found that online model presents more advantages than disadvantages than the onsite model. 85.7% of students considered that practical tasks highly contributed to their capacity of solving complex problems and master mathematical tools, while 65.7% of them associated the practical task with their availability to understand the principles of bioengineering. However, 40% of them thought that the online model satisfactorily contributes to the acquisition of these specific skills.

Current Opinion in Food Science ; 42:157-166, 2021.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1568603


Innovation and entrepreneurship are key factors to provide added value for food systems. Based on the findings of the Erasmus+Strategic Partnership BoostEdu, the objective of this paper is to provide answers to three knowledge gaps: 1) identify the needs for innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E) in the food sector;2) understand the best way to organize learning;3) provide flexibility in turbulent times. BoostEdu aimed to provide a platform for continuing education within I&E for food professionals and was carried out through co-creation workshops and the development of an e-learning course. The results of the project in particular during the Covid-19 pandemics, highlighted the need for flexible access to modules that are complementary to other sources and based on a mix of theoretical concepts and practical experiences. The main lessons learned concern the need of co-creation and co-learning processes to identify suitable practices for the use of innovative digital technologies.