Students’ perceptions of a food safety and quality e-learning course: a CASE study for a MSC in food consumption

Paula Vaz-Fernandes, Sandra Caeiro

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10 Citations (Scopus)
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Life long training and education in food safety is a crucial issue in particular for professionals working in the field. At the same time there is a need to evaluate the effectiveness of that training in particular when is given in e-learning. The purpose of this explorative work is to evaluate the Food Safety and Quality e-learning course within a Master program offered in the National Distance Learning University in Portugal. Following a case study methodology a mixed methods approached was used, based on an online questionnaire survey to students that enrolled the course, followed by a Focus Group Discussion to better discuss the weak points addressed by the students in the questionnaire. The questionnaire aimed to assess students perceptions about the course organization, recourses, assignments, acquired competences, change attitudes and behaviour and link with the professional activity Students who enrolled the course during 2016/17 and 2017/18 were surveyed in the fourth semester of the curricular year, in the period of development of the master thesis dissertation. In addition a quantitative analysis was conducted in the temporal distributions of messages published on the Moodle platform (learning analytics) to evaluate students’ interactions and engagement during the course. This study has shown that overall, students are very satisfied with the course, however they suggested improvements that are needed considering the pedagogical model used and their availability to learn as students with full time jobs, most related with the food science. This explorative research aimed to contribute to the improvement of food safety and quality training based also on recent tools and recommendations within e-learning in science education.

Original languageEnglish
Article number37
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • Food safety and quality
  • Online master course
  • Qualitative evaluation


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