ERIC Number: EJ1160464
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Developing Food Science Core Competencies in Vietnam: The Role of Experience and Problem Solving in an Industry-Based Undergraduate Research Course
LeGrand, Karen; Yamashita, Lina; Trexler, Cary J.; Vu, Thi Lam An; Young, Glenn M.
Journal of Food Science Education, v16 n4 p118-130 Oct 2017
Although many educators now recognize the value of problem-based learning and experiential learning, undergraduate-level food science courses that reflect these pedagogical approaches are still relatively novel, especially in East and Southeast Asia. Leveraging existing partnerships with farmers in Vietnam, a food science course for students at Nong Lam Univ. was designed and taught. The aim was to give students the opportunity to work in small groups and conduct evidence-based research with farmers, apply food science principles, and develop Success Skills, including the ability to think critically and communicate clearly. Drawing on the experience of 2 student groups, this exploratory study describes what students learned from the process of conducting research. In one group, students learned to work through and resolve the challenge of initial disagreement and misunderstanding with farmers and ultimately carried out a project that aligned with the students' research interests and farmers' needs. Another group of students learned to consider the financial limitations of farmers when attempting to develop solutions for problems and ultimately worked with farmers to address a different problem that was less financially taxing. It is important to note the challenges of planning and teaching a course in which instructors are not able to predict exactly what students will learn or experience. This is largely dependent on each student's prior knowledge, experiences, and interests; yet this study demonstrates the transformative potential of teaching a research-based food science course that gives students authentic opportunities to identify and address real-world challenges.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Teaching Methods, Experiential Learning, Agricultural Occupations, Consumer Science, Foods Instruction, College Students, Skill Development, Student Research, School Business Relationship, Interpersonal Relationship, Problem Solving, Costs, Participatory Research, Action Research, Evidence Based Practice
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF); USAID
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Vietnam
Grant or Contract Numbers: DGE1148897|0900294533