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Teaching Professional Practice: Using Interactive Learning Assessments to Simulate the Nutrition Care Process

McKay, Tabitha MS, RD; Yakes Jimenez, Elizabeth PhD, RD; Svihla, Vanessa PhD; Castillo, Tim MArch; Cantarero, Andrea MS, MPH, RD

doi: 10.1097/TIN.0000000000000079
Professional Practice and Research Interests

Teaching professional practices, such as the Nutrition Care Process (NCP), in lecture-based undergraduate nutrition courses can be difficult. Online Interactive Learning Assessments (ILAs) were pilot tested as a way to teach the NCP in an undergraduate nutrition course at a state university. Participating students were satisfied with the ILAs and reported that they provided the feel of authentic practical experience with the NCP. As measured by examination performance, students had similar mastery of content knowledge introduced via ILAs versus lecture. ILAs may allow students to gain content knowledge and effective professional practice skills.

Nutrition and Dietetics Program, Department of Individual, Family and Community Education (Ms McKay, Dr Jimenez, and Mr Cantarero), Center for Education Policy Research (Dr Jimenez), Organization, Information & Learning Sciences Program (Dr Svihla), and School of Architecture (Mr Castillo), University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; and Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, Albuquerque, New Mexico (Dr Jimenez).

Correspondence: Elizabeth Yakes Jimenez, PhD, RD, Center for Education Policy Research, University of New Mexico, Manzanita Hall, Albuquerque, NM 87131 (

E.Y.J. and V.S. have received a University of New Mexico Teaching Allocation grant (#734059) and grant 2012-38422-19836 from the USDA/NIFA Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Education Grants Program to support this work. The authors thank the participating students. They are grateful for the technical contributions of Justin Hertel and Kameron Baumgardner to the development of the case designer, and for Carole Conn's feedback on initial drafts of the manuscript.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

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