Open Lab Food Experience Blogging Exercise

Open Lab Food Experience Blogging Exercise

Claire Stewart

Hosp. Management/ Professional Studies

Activity Description: Provide a brief description of the activity

Students are asked to eat something from the geographic region which is highlighted the week they acted as chef. They then write about the new food and describe its taste, texture, color, smell, or any unusual properties. They must document this experience and post a photo or video of this item in its various stages and how it was acquired. Next students post (or create) a video clip of a traditional song or dance, festival or religious ceremony. Or they may craft a video of a walking tour they made of their trip to an ethnic neighborhood or grocery store. Posting comments on the work of others is also required.

Learning Goals: What do you aim to achieve with this activity?

I would like to enlarge students’ view of their world, and for them to learn the differences and similarities of regional life. This is done by having the class investigate native foods, which pupils will find are inevitably tied to religion, geography and history. I also hope to develop the students’ vocabulary, and increase their ability to work in new environments with unfamiliar ingredients. The more terms, place names, and components that students are exposed to, the greater the chance that they will be able to draw conclusions about new concepts by finding similarities to what they have seen before. This assignment also works to nudge participants out of their comfort zone, asking them to try something that they may not otherwise have tasted or experienced.

Timing: At what point in the lesson or semester do you use this activity? How much classroom time do you devote to it? How much out-of-class time is expected?

Every student has a different time line. I ask that their post go up no more than one week after they have acted as chef. The brigade with the day that the student will be chef is established on Week 1. Students devote a lot of time creating their week’s chef report, so I make this assignment due the week after they have been chef. I feel this way they can have more fun with the assignment, as they are no longer nervous about their performance. This assignment is ideal because there is very little lecture time at all during class. This is a production class and dinner has to be done ready in order for the dining room to open.

Logistics: What preparation is needed for this activity? What instructions do you give students? Is the activity low-stakes, high-stakes, or something else?

This assignment is worth 10 points out of 100. I give specific instructions that students must cite their sources, and also get permission if using photos of others. Students investigate the culture of the region for which they were class chef. By the time this assignment is due, students have learned about this region, and are invested in what they come to consider “their” territory. Being chef for the day is a significant event for these students, so by tying in the assignment to this, I find students “buy in” to the activity with enthusiasm.

High-Impact Educational Practices: Which of these practices based on George Kuh’s High Impact Educational Practices (and other innovative approaches) does this activity incorporate? Choose all that apply.

Collaborative assignments and projects, Open Digital Pedagogy (the OpenLab), Capstone courses and projects, Place-Based Learning

Assessment: How do you assess this activity? What assessment measures do you use? Do you use a VALUE rubric? If not, how did you develop your rubric? Is your course part of the college-wide general education assessment initiative?

I do use a rubric that includes whether the student worked within the time line, and if they cited sources. Also if they proofread and presented themselves as professional in their online work. I did get valuable information from the Living Lab assessment workshop. I ask the student to consider who the audience for the assignment is, and what the role of the presenter is.

Reflection: How well did this activity work in your classroom? Would you repeat it? Why or why not? What challenges did you encounter, and how did you address them? What, if anything, would you change? What did students seem to enjoy about the activity?

This worked very well. I am repeating it in this year’s class. I also made a similar assignment in a different class and it was a true success.

This is a link to my Culinary Improvisation class, in which there was a weekly blogger.

Students take photos of their food anyway, so by creating an official class blogger I am expanding on something they already enjoy. I learned to make a cut-off date for comments because I found many students made all their comments only at the end of the semester. I now ask them to post a minimum prior to midterm, and not all on the same day or on the same topic. I would still like students to proofread their work more however. Students participated fully in this project, and I had no one not do so. I was pleased to see that classmates accompanied each other on their explorations, and I saw in their photos that they were voluntarily doing class work that was not required; they were doing it for fun. This project tries to harness students’ desire to surf the net and to see videos and make comments, and to do so in a structured environment with specific expectations.

Additional Information: Please share any additional comments and further documentation of the activity – e.g. assignment instructions, rubrics, examples of student work, etc. These could be in the form of PDF or Word files, links to posts or files on the OpenLab, etc.

The link below is an example of a student blog entry from Culinary Improvisation

I posted this link after our class went to the Museum of Modern Art. Students had various tasks assigned while there; all in hopes of them finding links between art and food.

This is the link to the assignment

This is a great example of student work

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