The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of a pre-service-learning (SL) training on student self-efficacy in teaching nutrition in the community.
Students enrolled in a Community Nutrition SL course.
Theory, Prior Research, Rationale
SL programs provide students with an opportunity to gain discipline-specific skills, while providing community organizations with a pool of volunteers. However, because students may lack the skills needed to be effective community educators, skills-based training may need to be incorporated into SL courses.
Description of Course and Curriculum
Students in a community nutrition SL course engaged in a 7-week-long pre-SL training before teaching a 6-week-long nutrition education course to community members. The pre-SL training included three layers of activities: basic activities, which introduced the students to material necessary to build skills for their SL experience; directed activities, which allowed them to refine a targeted skillset; and collective activities, which allowed for the application of multiple skills.
Through qualitative interviews with 12 of the 19 students enrolled in the course, we determined the impact of a pre-SL training program on the development of the skills necessary to teach a nutrition education course.
Conclusions and Implications
Thematic analysis of the data revealed two major themes: “layered learning” activities facilitate skill building and a stressful, yet supportive, environment facilitates growth. Together, these aspects of course design allow students to develop skills and build their self-efficacy in those skills. Therefore, instructors who plan to incorporate SL into their nutrition courses may benefit from designing a pre-SL training to improve student learning outcomes.
© 2016 Published by Elsevier Inc.