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Impact of a Pre-Service-Learning Training on Students’ Skills Needed to Deliver a Pre-Packaged Educational Curricula in the Community

      Objective

      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.

      Target Audience

      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.

      Evaluation

      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.

      Funding

      None

      Supplementary data