Student perceptions of collaborative and blended learning in food science and technology

Vusi Vincent Mshayisa


Blended learning refers to the use of conventional face-to-face learning experiences in combination with online education resources and practices. An increase in enrolments and a more diverse student body has intensified the demand to develop first-year teaching and learning pedagogies. Food science and technology lecturers must facilitate constructive learning in order to develop student skills, including critical thinking, teamwork, and self-directed learning. The aim of this investigation was to evaluate student perceptions of collaborative and blended learning. Students were exposed to various technology-enhanced pedagogical tools and face-to-face teaching strategies such as online academic journal reflections, video screencasts, group assignments, food processing practicals, and group crossword puzzles. A mixed-method survey consisting of multiple-choice, a 5-point Likert scale, and open-ended qualitative questions was administered via Blackboard. A total of 133 students were registered for the module, and 72.1% (n = 96) completed the survey. In this study, respondents felt they were prepared to complete the online group assignments (82%), which illustrates that they could learn the course material through collaboration. Moreover, 87% of the students agreed that they could keep up with the coursework in the blended format. Students recommended that there should be more lecture designed video screencasts, and they should be offered more opportunities to do oral presentations in this module. The respondents positively received collaborative and blended learning. The findings of this study, in general, affirm the merits of incorporating blended and collaborative learning in food science and technology curricula.


Blended learning; food science and technology; collaborative learning; flipped classroom; constructivism; blackboard

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