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Research Articles

Interactive Infographics Improve Learning Outcomes in a Food Science Laboratory Exercise Environment

Authors:

Patrick Polowsky ,

University of Wisconsin-Madison, US
About Patrick
Training Facilitator, Center for Dairy Research
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Christian C. Steciuch

Northern Illinois University, US
About Christian
Cognitive Instructional Scientist
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Abstract

Laboratory exercises are a crucial component for many science education courses. Hands-on activities provide valuable contextualized learning experiences and allow for increased engagement between students and technical knowledge. The present study examined the efficacy of a virtual-type laboratory activity compared to a traditional hands-on activity. Food science undergraduates (N=35) were randomly assigned to two groups: (1) performing a virtual lab exercise and (2) performing a traditional hands-on exercise producing mozzarella cheese. The virtual lab exercise consisted of interactive infographics highlighting the chemistry of the mozzarella making process, incorporating clickable animation, audio voiceovers, and minimal narrative text. The virtual lab group demonstrated a significantly larger increase in cheesemaking knowledge (p<0.0001; d=1.49) than the traditional lab group (p=0.41; d=0.26). Both groups exhibited significant increases in cheesemaking self-efficacy. These data suggest that interactive infographics can function as effective learning tools in technical education.
How to Cite: Polowsky, P. and Steciuch, C.C., 2021. Interactive Infographics Improve Learning Outcomes in a Food Science Laboratory Exercise Environment. Journal of Career and Technical Education, 35(1), pp.1–16. DOI: http://doi.org/10.21061/jcte.v35i1.a1
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Published on 08 Jul 2021.
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