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ERIC Number: EJ1018321
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1544-0389
Enhancing Food and Nutrition Curricula in Higher Education by Assigning Collaborative Food System Assessment Projects
Matthews, June
Journal of College Teaching & Learning, v10 n4 p245-254 2013
Student engagement in higher education is important. Some professional healthcare programs, however, can become quite focused and competitive, limiting the potential for positive student engagement and for students to see how their field of study fits within larger systems. Food system assessments are an ideal way to see the interconnectedness of all parts of a food cycle for a city or region. This case study describes food system assessments conducted by 165 undergraduate students in their first year of a Food and Nutritional Sciences program. Using collaborative, problem-based learning and a photovoice approach, the goal was to help students appreciate the entire food cycle, not just the consumption aspect that dominates much of nutrition education and practice. Students gleaned information about food production, processing, distribution, and waste from their site visits. They also calculated the food miles and CO[subscript 2] emissions for two foods purchased in their assigned neighborhood. With their final reports, students submitted electronic versions of photographs, which were viewed and discussed during in-class focus groups. The potential for home/community food production prompted the most discussion. While logistics and collaborative learning presented some challenges, this participatory and reflective learning experience promoted positive student engagement among students in higher education. Educators in other university programs may consider enhancing their curricula by assigning collaborative food system assessment projects.
Clute Institute. 6901 South Pierce Street Suite 239, Littleton, CO 80128. Tel: 303-904-4750; Fax: 303-978-0413; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Journal Articles
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada (London)
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Survey of Student Engagement
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A