Critical Evaluation of Nutrition Information

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipient: Diana Bedoya, Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology

Project team: Carmen Bott, research assistant

Timeframe: July 2017 to October 2018

Funding: $6000

Course addressed: BPK 110 â€“ Human Nutrition: Current Issues

Final report: View Diana Bedoya's final report (PDF)

Description: I would like students in my nutrition class to improve their ability to critically evaluate health information that they encounter. There is a plethora of confusing, contradicting and outright false nutrition information that students are exposed to through various media platforms. At the same time, in the first-year nutrition course that I teach, a large amount of tutorial time is devoted to reviewing course concepts, but not necessarily to applying them to students’ everyday experiences. Therefore, I want to design some activities that students will work through in tutorials that will relate class concepts to nutrition related news and information that students encounter via social media and other platforms.

Questions addressed:

  • Will the students report a more positive learning experience in the Fall 2017 class as compared to the Spring and Summer 2017 class?
  • Will the time in class devoted to evaluating nutrition information improve students perceived ability to critically evaluate nutrition information?
  • Will students in the Fall 2017 class perform better than students in the Summer 2017 class on selected final exam questions probing their ability to critically evaluate nutritional information?
  • How do TAs evaluate the experience of using the designed activities? Would they suggest revisions to the activities?

Knowledge sharing: We are very interested in presenting our findings at a future Teaching Matters Seminar within SFU.  I have contacted the organizer about this. In addition, we plan to present our findings at a future pedagogy-focused conference.

Bedoya, D. (2019, February). V.E.T.O. that source! Novel and not-so-novel tutorial techniques for improving the critical evaluation of online information. Presentation at the Teaching Matters Seminar Series, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC.

Keywords: Critical thinking, sources, nutrition, source evaluation, competitive Googling