Food consumer science post-graduate courses: Comparison of face-to-face versus online delivery systems
Posted: May 24th, 2010 - 10:23am
Source: British Food Journal
Abstract: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to compare face-to-face versus online course delivery systems in the area of food consumption and to analyse the students' expectations and experiences. It aims to analyse the following dimensions: general expectations, learning organization and interactions in students' discourses.
Design/methodology/approach – The methodology adopted is of interpretative nature using semi-structured qualitative interviews. An interview guide was designed taking into account the learning modalities (styles and strategies), materials and learning tools, teacher-student interaction and peer interaction dimensions. The students of both courses were interviewed in the second semester of the curricular year of the respective MSc degrees.
Findings – This study has shown that face-to-face and online students are equally satisfied with their courses revealing the same confirmed general expectations. Comments for both course delivery systems are the need for more laboratory and practical classes. Results from this study also indicated that face-to-face and online educations are effective training food consumer sciences students suggesting, however, that both systems should evolve to blended-learning.
Practical implications – Both course delivery systems (face-to-face and online) contributed to the competencies acquisition in Food Consumer Sciences. B-learning appears as the natural convergence of students needs.
Originality/value – The online course results of the discourse analysis suggest the success developing a learning community pointing out the role of the online instructor and the course coordinator. The paper provided useful data and knowledge on which further research can be carried out.