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Abstract

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Methodology
  5. Results and Discussion
  6. Conclusion
  7. References
  8. Appendices

Abstract:  The expectation that universities will produce graduates with high levels of work readiness is now a commonplace in government policies and statements from industry representatives. Meeting the demand requires that students gain industry related experience before graduation. Traditionally students have done so by undertaking extended work placements. With increasing numbers of students competing for a limited number of placements, virtual and simulated work environments are becoming popular alternative strategies. This paper describes the simulation of workplace practices through the introduction of integrated contextual learning (ICL) into the Food Science Program at Curtin Univ. as a way of enhancing employability and increasing students’ confidence that they are work ready.


Introduction

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Methodology
  5. Results and Discussion
  6. Conclusion
  7. References
  8. Appendices

Traditionally Australian universities enjoyed a high degree of autonomy and were not tightly bound to the demands of the labor market. In science-based subjects, they were able to focus on teaching disciplinary knowledge and laboratory skills, assuming that skills such as communication and teamwork would be learned through life experience or on the job training. With the advent of a more open global economy, governments in Australia and elsewhere adopted the belief that international competitiveness depends on capturing the design and production of high-value products through the deployment of a highly skilled workforce (Beeson and Firth 1998). As a consequence, institutions such as universities are increasingly required to serve economic needs and the expectation that they will produce graduates with high levels of employability is common to both government and industry representatives (Oliviera and Guimarães 2010). Success in meeting the expectation varies across the higher education sector but in general universities in Australia have been slow to incorporate employability into the curriculum (Oliver and others 2007). At Curtin Univ. the staff of the Food Science and Technology Program responded to the challenge of increasing students’ perception of work readiness through the introduction of integrated contextual learning (ICL) into a final year capstone unit. The aim was to increase students’ confidence in their work readiness and at the same time develop the capabilities food industry employers seek in graduates.

Work readiness and integrated contextual learning

In a recent issue of Food Australia, Paton (2011) highlighted the disparity between the expectations of employers in the food industry and the capabilities of new graduates. Paton's article drew upon the results of a survey of employers undertaken by the Food Technology Association of Australia (FTAA) in 2011. The Food Science and Technology Staff at Curtin Univ. found the same disparity when they reviewed their undergraduate curriculum in 2010. In addition to responses from employers, Curtin staff surveyed current students and graduates. They discovered that graduates also perceived a mismatch between what employers want and what they, as potential employees, have to offer. This paper outlines the steps Curtin Food Science and Technology staff instituted to address students’ perception that they were not work ready.

The Curtin Food Science project was similar to the work readiness programme developed at Univ. of Technology Sydney (UTS). At UTS representatives of six professional and accrediting bodies, all within the general field of Business Studies, were asked to identify key skills necessary for graduates to succeed (Frawley and Litchfield 2009; Litchfield and others 2010). The focus was on generic skills such as communication and teamwork rather than profession-specific technical skills. Generic learning activities were developed and made available through a central depository. Each discipline group then contextualized the activities, in order to make them relevant to the needs of its students. The Food Science project at Curtin also aimed to develop skills such as communication, teamwork, and leadership but the emphasis was on a narrower set of communication and organizational skills specific to one aspect of food science, that of food processing. In addition, the relationship between technical and generic skills was a key preoccupation of the food science staff.

The methodology used by Curtin Food Science staff to increase work readiness was a form of integrated contextual learning (ICL). ICL combines teaching in lecture settings with problem-based learning (PBL) (Van Der Veken and others 2008). It is based upon constructivist theory and assumes that learning is “an active process of knowledge construction influenced by how one interacts with and interprets new ideas and events” (Yilmaz 2008 p. 165). ICL incorporates the following features that are derived from constructivist approaches: the importance of social interaction between students; the development of learner autonomy and learning situations that resemble real life.

Problem solving in ICL is similar to the category of active learning that Paxman and others (2011) designate “loosely structured experiential activities.” The loosely structured problems give students a high degree of control over their learning and require them to apply creatively what they have learned (Hamer 2000). Stinson (1990) includes in ICL elaborate simulations of industry where students must define a problem and work out how they will organise a group to perform a typical industry task. The duration of complex problems in ICL can be up to a whole semester. In the ICL programme described by Stinson (1990) lecturers organized executive panels, including industry representatives, to review student presentations. Ehiyarzaryan and Barraclough (2009) found such opportunities had a positive effect upon students’ confidence. ICL allows the workplace to be imported into the classroom and although it may not have the comprehensive reality of an extended work placement the simulated work environment provides students with the opportunity to experience authentic workplace tasks.

A key element of work readiness is a growing sense of autonomy (Cassidy 2006). According to Paxman and others (2011) autonomous learners are able to diagnose problems, come up with solutions and manage time to complete complex tasks successfully. The achievement of these behaviors is related to learners’ motivation, their own perception of their competence and the degree of control they feel they have over their learning (Della and others 2001). ICL activities require students to take responsibility for their own learning. In the loosely structured environment of ICL the balance between external (lecturer) and internal (student) control shifts toward the latter. Dickinson (1995) found that students’ belief in their own abilities is enhanced when they perceive that they are responsible for and in control of their own learning. Similarly Paxman and others (2011) found that situations in which students have to come up with their own solutions to real life problems have a positive effect on confidence and motivation. Feelings of control, confidence and motivation are key elements of self-efficacy, which contributes to students’ perception that they are ready to take on the challenge of independent learning and performance in the work place (Liceaga and others 2011; Cassidy 2006).

Hannan (2005) points to the importance of institutional support for successful innovation in teaching and learning. Curtin Univ. has a longstanding commitment to renewal and innovation in curriculum design and the incorporation of employability into the curriculum (Curtin Univ. 2011; Oliver 2010). Univ. managers actively encourage academic staff to explore alternatives to traditional lectures and innovative uses of technology are rewarded. In addition all new staff are required to undertake staff development in teaching and learning which is based upon the principles of active student learning derived from the constructivist approach. As a consequence Food Science students are exposed to a variety of teaching methods and styles in their degree before they encounter the capstone unit. The capstone unit differed from previous learning activities in the degree of control it afforded to students and the extended and unstructured nature of the problem with which they were presented.

Methodology

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Methodology
  5. Results and Discussion
  6. Conclusion
  7. References
  8. Appendices

Drawing on the views of the course Advisory Board members and input from potential employers the academic staff in the Curtin Food Science and Technology program identified isolated skills that needed to be more explicitly taught and assessed in order to provide industry with work ready graduates and students with the confidence that they could meet industry expectations. The skills were:

  • • 
    Presenting one's work to management and potential customers.
  • • 
    Technical and non-technical communication skills
  • • 
    Interpersonal skills for dealing with co-workers and working as a team
  • • 
    Problem solving skills related to product and process issues
  • • 
    Self-management skills

The redesign of the program drew upon the finding that employer involvement in course design is positively related to employability (Mason and others 2009). Work readiness was addressed through laboratory and classroom learning activities developed by analyzing specific workplace contexts and in conjunction with industry partners. A capstone unit, entitled Food Processing and Preservation was introduced into the final year of the undergraduate degree with the aim of bringing together previous knowledge and skills in processing and product development. In the second part of the capstone unit the students were allocated to teams in order to develop an innovative food product under conditions that mirrored those of the industry.

An independent panel, consisting of industry representatives and food science academics, judged the products. The team achieving the highest overall score won an award sponsored by the Dept. of Agriculture and Food Western Australia (DAFWA). The Dept. made an initial commitment of five years to sponsorship as part of its program to develop the food industry in the state. The award consists of $A250.00 per team member, a framed certificate and an engraved prize. The students’ products were displayed at the awards ceremony, attended by the Minister for Agriculture and Food along with representatives of the food industry, and students were on hand to answer questions about processes and products. The award ceremony allowed students to showcase their products and themselves to potential employers.

Close cooperation with industry was achieved not only through the award process but also through industry involvement in the product development. Students generated product ideas after discussions with local food industry firms. The manufacturing processes followed by the students needed to be those that could be duplicated by a local organization. At the same time industry was also approached to donate ingredients. Organisations that participated in the projects were acknowledged at the award ceremony. Food industry participation in the projects meant students were exposed to industry demands and practices in the classroom situation.

The syllabus of the new unit stated, “In this unit students will study and practice food processing methods and their role in the preservation of foods including thermal, chemical and physical processes used in the food industry. They also examine the effects of food processing methods and storage on the quality, safety and nutrient content of foods including the packaging requirements for preservation of foods.” The learning outcomes for the unit were:

  • 1
    to apply and integrate the principles of food processing and preservation in a simulated industrial setting;
  • 2
    to determine the most appropriate and effective technologies and their limitations and apply them to problem solving within the food industry;
  • 3
    to critically evaluate processing and preservation systems and synthesise the information to develop innovative solutions to identified issues;
  • 4
    to demonstrate self-directed learning and reflective practice in a simulated work place.

As indicated above, the capstone unit combined teaching in traditional lecture settings with laboratory sessions. Lectures, of two hours duration, were designed to allow students to make connections between basic sciences, knowledge about food processes and industry application. Food processing concepts and processes were illustrated with real world industry experiences of the teaching staff or industry examples presented as case studies. Students were presented with problems in processing and asked to make suggestions to overcome them. Other students were asked to critique the suggestions. In the assessment for this part of the unit students were given a case study outlining an industrial problem and asked to analyse it and propose possible solutions. An example of the type of case study is provided in Appendix 1.

The critical element of the curriculum was the laboratory work. The laboratory work was designed to give students a high degree of control over their own learning and to provide an opportunity for them to come up with a solution to a real world challenge. In the laboratory sessions students worked in teams to develop an innovative product that could be manufactured commercially under conditions that mirrored a local industry. A three-hour laboratory session was scheduled each week. The sessions were largely unstructured and students proposed the experiments that they intended to undertake, based on their product. Each group discussed a plan with the lecturer before commencement of laboratory work but the lecturer acted as a coach and mentor rather than a formal instructor. The laboratory was scheduled for a further three hours for independent student access where the lecturer was not in attendance. In addition students were able to book extra laboratory time either as a group or individually and most students did so.

Assessments for the product component were: a laboratory data book, similar to that used in an industry workplace, and a journal; the product itself and a presentation to industry/academic staff panel. In the data book students recorded the activities undertaken in the laboratory. These included experimentation with different product formulations, product observations and results of analysis. The instructions to students and suggested entries are shown in Appendix 2. In the journal students recorded what they felt they had learned about product development, processing, group functioning, and communication at different stages of the project. The purpose of the journal was to provide an opportunity for students to reflect on their professional development as future food scientists/food technologists. The instructions to students regarding the journal can be found in Appendix 3. The data book was completed during experimentation. The journal was completed both in and out of class and had a broader focus. At the end of the weekly laboratory session the lecturer met with each group to discuss the week's work, the data book and the journal. A grade was awarded for the data book and the journal at that point. The marking rubric for the data book and the journal combined can be found in Appendix 4. At the end of semester each team presented its work to a panel of industry representatives through an oral presentation and a product tasting. The marking keys used by the panel for the product and the presentation are shown in Appendices 5 and 6. The criteria emphasize industrial application, problem solving, and innovation.

The capstone unit specifically aimed to provide students with a simulated experience of roles encountered in the workplace and through this an opportunity to develop communication, presentation and problem solving skills. Students worked in teams and each member was assigned the responsibility for a particular role or function. The roles were: Research and Development; Production; Purchasing; Quality Assurance. The aim of assigning a specific task was to help each student gain experience and skills in leadership and develop confidence in taking responsibility for a job. It was also necessary for the leaders of a task to constantly communicate with the team, thereby improving their team and interpersonal skills.

Lack of autonomy was identified in the course review as a tendency for students to rely on academic staff for answers to problems. Staff consciously moved from providing answers to encouraging students to find solutions in the food science literature and interpret the solution within their own context. This approach was adopted particularly where students were attempting to solve practical product development or processing problems. At the same time ICL allowed staff to construct tasks that required students to bring together what they have learned in a range of earlier units.

At the end of the semester quantitative and qualitative feedback was collected from students through Curtin's official student survey instrument, known as eVALUate. The unit survey component of the instrument collects information about students’ satisfaction with their learning experiences. It provides information to teaching staff and univ. administration about whether the learning materials, activities and assessments engage, motivate and contribute to students’ academic and professional development. To encourage students to provide full and frank feedback, all comments are anonymous. The survey questions are set out in Figure 1. We were most interested in the responses to questions 8–10 that seek to determine students’ motivation, efficacy as learners and ability to reflect on their own performance. The results from the ICL class (2010 and 2011) were compared with the survey results from students who were taught a food processing unit by traditional lecture and laboratory method (2008 and 2009).

image

Figure 1–. Student feedback questions.

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The quantitative responses were analyzed for statistical significance via Chi Square using the statistical software package Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 19. The survey was scaled from, Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree, Strongly Disagree to Unable to Judge. The reported results are the percentage of Strongly Agreed and Agree responses to a given criterion. The qualitative student comments were analysed using the statistical software package IBM® SPSS® Text Analytics for Surveys version 4.0. The program creates categories of words and themes based on the number of hits (times they appear).

Results and Discussion

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Methodology
  5. Results and Discussion
  6. Conclusion
  7. References
  8. Appendices

Student feedback about the experience of ICL was very positive. Students rated the unit at 100% on all except two of the survey items and these were rated at over 90% satisfaction. The comparison with students who were taught by a traditional lecture/laboratory is shown in Figure 2. There were 46 and 32 students in the two non-ICL classes and the response rates were 41% and 76%, respectively. There were 33 and 35 students in the two ICL classes with a response rate of 70% and 58%, respectively.

image

Figure 2–. Comparison of student feedback for ICL and non-ICL classes.

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The most striking differences occurred on those items that concerned students’ perception of their own performance in response to the teaching method and materials. These were items 8 and 9 (I am motivated to achieve the learning outcomes in this unit and I make best use of the learning experiences in this unit). Chi square analysis (p < 0.05) indicated there was a significant increase in motivation when students were taught using ICL. Similarly the extent to which students took responsibility for getting the most out of the learning experiences offered in the unit was significantly greater in the ICL class. The difference between the feedback of the two groups on item 10 (I think about how I can learn more effectively in this unit) was not statistically significant although mathematically agreement increased by 20%. This suggests there was no significant increase in metacognition although the qualitative comments indicate that extensive metacognitive activity was taking place. In sum, the results show important increases in students’ motivation and responsibility for learning that are key components of work readiness.

The qualitative comments volunteered by students confirm these results. For the ICL class 95% of the comments were positive. They indicate that students felt better prepared for the transition to work as a result of engagement with authentic learning tasks. One student commented “I think the content presented to us will help us in the workforce. A lot of real experiences were used, which I find helpful not only for understanding the concepts but it also gave us an idea of what is expected in the work force once we graduate.” A similar feeling of confidence about meeting industry expectations is found in the response that: “This unit has trained us to face the real world later when we work in the food industry where product development is the outcome.” Other students echoed these sentiments with comments such as “It was a good assessment to ask the students to develop a product. It definitely gave direct experience to students how to work as a food technologist.”

Students’ comments also reflected a growing sense of autonomy and the ability to bring together what they had learned throughout the degree. Comments such as “the lecturer encourages us to think independently such as giving prompts to lead us to the correct answer without spoon-feeding us” and “the feedback given from the teacher was very helpful to make us think from different points of view,” express the growing sense of autonomy. The requirement to take greater control of their learning promoted “professionalism and innovative thinking.” Students felt they benefited from the capstone unit because “It combined all the skill and knowledge from food chemistry, food microbiology, food engineering and food processing” and required “application of knowledge learnt from units in previous academic years” One student wrote “This unit allowed me to see where I stand after all these years of studies. Besides that, it provided me with an opportunity to apply all my learning into the practical project which gives me the general idea what I will face in the industry.

A visualization of student comments is shown in Figure 3a for the non-ICL unit and 3b for the ICL unit. In the feedback about the non-ICL unit there is a strong relationship between “more” and “theory to practice” and “more” and “labs.” The analysis suggests students wanted more integration of food processing knowledge with practical learning experiences and that they were looking for a stronger work orientation.

image

Figure 3–. (a) Visualization of student comments from the non-ICL unit. (b) Visualization of student comments from the ICL unit.

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Visualisation of the qualitative comments from students who took the ICL unit indicate a strong relationship between terms such as “confidence” and “work-ready”, “unit” and “excellent.” It confirms that the students in the ICL unit felt confident that they were work ready and that the new unit provided them with the learning outcomes required to meet industry requirements.

The following limitations of the study were noted. Students in the Food Science Course are a mixture of international and domestics students but we did not consider the background of students because the eValuate system does not collect demographic data such as nationality, culture, prior educational experience, age or gender. The text correlation analysis using the Text Analyser software is optimum with over 100 responses and the numbers surveyed were below this. However, the results of the text analysis were confirmed by inspection of the qualitative responses from students. The classes for comparison were not taught concurrently but over a four year period although they were all taught by the same lecturer using different teaching methods.

Conclusion

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Methodology
  5. Results and Discussion
  6. Conclusion
  7. References
  8. Appendices

Universities are facing increasing pressure from governments and industry to prepare work ready graduates who can quickly become productive members of an organization. A variety of work-integrated learning practices, in addition to the traditional work placement, are used for this purpose. With increasing numbers of students competing for a limited number of placements, virtual and simulated work environments are becoming a popular strategy to develop work related skills. The success of the Curtin Univ. Food Science and Technology integrated contextual learning initiative demonstrates that it is a viable way of increasing students’ perception that they are ready to make a successful transition into the world of work.

The introduction of ICL in the Curtin Food Science course was practical for a number of reasons. The move to greater student control of learning and extended unstructured problems was facilitated by the univ. management's support for active learning at Curtin and the idea of the capstone unit, including its teaching method, was strongly supported by all staff in Food Science. In addition, students were able to have generous access to food laboratories outside of formal class time. The simulation of authentic industry tasks was facilitated by the profile of the Food Science staff; 50% have extensive industry experience, amounting to a combined 30 years, and retain strong relationship with industry partners. Finally, class sizes in the capstone unit were less than 50 students with the consequence that it was possible to incorporate an active learning component into lecture settings. Although ICL has been used with large class sizes (Van de Veken 2008), Paxman and others (2011) note that in relation to food science active learning approaches are more challenging with large classes or where resources and class time are constrained.

Replicating the success of the initiative over time is not without its own challenges. The shift to ICL activities added significantly to participating lecturers’ workloads, at a time when universities in Australia are increasingly measuring staff performance by research productivity rather than teaching innovation. However, subsequent offerings of the unit have reduced the workload to one comparable, although different in nature, to traditional teaching methods. Sponsorship for the awards has, to date, been provided by the Dept. of Agriculture and Food but this will need to be renegotiated at the end of a five year period. The Dept.'s support is critical to the status and value of the current awards but it is difficult to predict government priorities into the future. Finally it has yet to be seen if students in subsequent years can come up with a continual supply of ideas for innovative products that are of interest to industry partners. These challenges to the particular initiative notwithstanding, the success of the Curtin experiment suggests that ICL has an important role to play in educating future food science and technology students.

References

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Methodology
  5. Results and Discussion
  6. Conclusion
  7. References
  8. Appendices
  • Beeson M, Firth A. 1998. Neoliberalism as a political rationality. J Sociol 34(3):21531.
  • Cassidy S. 2006. Developing employability skills: peer assessment in higher education. Educ Train 48(7):50816.
  • Curtin University. 2011 Curriculum 2010, Comprehensive Course review downloaded from http://c2010.curtin.edu.au/task2.html accessed on 18 January 2011.
  • Della M, Fazey A, Fazey JA. 2001. The potential for autonomy in learning: perceptions of competence, motivation and locus of control in first-year undergraduate students. Stud Higher Educ 26(3):34561.
  • Dickinson L. 1995. Autonomy and motivation: a literature review. System 23:16574.
  • Ehiyazaryan E, Barraclough N. 2009. Enhancing employability: integrating real world experience in the curriculum. Educ Train 51(4):292308.
  • Food Technology Association of Australia (FTAA). 2011. Skills demand survey analysis Report, Frankston Heights, Victoria Australia.
  • Frawley J, Litchfield A. 2009. Engaging students and academics in work-ready learning contextualised for each profession in the curriculum in the student experience. Proceedings of the 32nd Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA) Annual Conference 2009 Darwin Australia.
  • Hamer LO. 2000. The additive effects of semi structured classroom activity on student learning: an application of classroom-based experimental learning techniques. J Market Educ 22(1):2534.
  • Hannan A. 2005. Innovating in higher education: contexts for change in learning technology. Brit J Educ Technol 36(6):97585.
  • Liceaga AM, Ballard TM, Skura BJ. 2011. Incorporating a modified problem-based learning exercise in a traditional lecture and lab-based dairy product course. J Food Sci Educ 10(2):1922.
  • Litchfield A, Frawley J, Nettleton S. 2010. Contextualising and integrating into the curriculum the learning and teaching of work-ready professional graduate attributes. Higher Educ Res Dev 29(5):51934.
  • Mason G, Williams G, Cranmer S. 2009. Employability skills initiative in higher education: what effects do they have on graduate labour market outcomes Educ Econ 17(1):130.
  • Oliver B. 2010. Assurance of Learning for graduate employability http://web.me.com/beverleyoliver1/benchmarking/About.html accessed on 22 December 2010 7:16:28 AM.
  • Oliver B, Jones S. Ferns S, Tucker B. 2007. Mapping curricula: ensuring work-ready graduates by mapping course learning outcomes and higher order thinking skills. Proceedings of Evaluations and Assessment Conference, Brisbane, Australia .
  • Oliveira E, Guimarães I. 2010. Employability through curriculum innovation and skills development: a Portuguese case study. Higher Educ Manage Pol 22(2):119.
  • Paton J. 2011. Mismatched expectations. Food Australia 63(11):2224.
  • Paxman JR, Nield K, Hall AC. 2011. Motivation, confidence and Control; unraveling activity learning for nutrition and food undergraduates. J Food Sci Educ 10(4):4553.
  • Stinson JE. 1990. Integrated contextual learning: situated learning in the business profession. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the American Education research Association, Boston , MA .
  • Van Der Veken J, Valcke M, Muijtjens A, De Maeseneer J, Derese A. 2008. The potential of the inventory of learning styles to study students’ learning patterns in three types of medical curricula. Med Teacher 30(9–10):86369.
  • Yilmaz K. 2008. Constructivism: its theoretical underpinnings, variations and implications for classroom instruction. Educ Horizons 86(3):16172.

Appendices

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Methodology
  5. Results and Discussion
  6. Conclusion
  7. References
  8. Appendices

Appendix 1

Sample Case Study Assessment for Lecture Component of the Unit

Dehydrators (Pty) Ltd is a bulk dehydrated fruit manufacturer for the food industry. As their food technologist you have developed a dehydrated apple product during the spring months for launch in the summer. The ideal dehydration conditions were determined to be 50°C and 20% relative humidity. The initial production was good, the apple slices were crisp, and the launch was a success. However, as the winter months drew closer you noticed that the product quality was dropping. The company's management wants to know why this is happening and have asked you to fix the problem. Explain what you believe could cause such an issue and how you would go about fixing the problem.

Appendix 2

Laboratory data book
Completing your data book.

The data book needs to be completed each scheduled laboratory session in conjunction with your journal. The relevant pages of the data book and the journal are to be handed in each week for comment by your lecturer. The lecturer will discuss with you your day's work and provide you with feedback and suggestions that you may consider in planning your next activity.

Make sure your group develops a method of recording and labeling entries so that they are easy to track and the data book is well organized.

Suggested entries.
  • 1
    The day's objectives should be clearly stated. These should reflect the aims you have set out in your journal for this week.
  • 2
    If you are trialing an alternative formula for your product keep a record in the format of the table below. On any given day if you trial more than one formula you are then to record each formula on a separate table. Record all your product observations.

Table for keeping record of the trial formulae in the laboratory data book

IngredientPrevious formula (if any) in grams or percentage#Todays trial formula as} calculated in grams*Todays trial formula as} calculated in percentage*Todays trial formula in} grams as weighed*Todays trial formula in} percentage as weighed*
  1. # Indicate the page number of your data book where your lecturer can find the previous formula.

  2. * Please show calculations immediately before or after this table.

Total     
  • 3
    If you are carrying out an analysis record all results in the data book.
  • 4
    Include all calculations.

Appendix 3

Product development group journal
Purpose.

The journal provides you with an opportunity to document and reflect on the development of your competencies as a group. Its purpose is to facilitate your professional development as future food scientists/food technologists.

Completion of the journal.

Using the journal each group should complete a weekly review/analysis of how the project is progressing. In your review write about how the week's activities relate to (a) your knowledge of processing and preservation gained from the research literature and your previous study (b) teamwork and communication skills (c) technical problem solving skills.

An electronic version of the journal title page and weekly header is available from Blackboard in MS Word format. You can download the document for word processing but your entries do not have to be typed.

Each week at the conclusion of the laboratory session your group will meet with your lecturer. Following the discussion you will present the contents of your laboratory data book and the journal for marking. The mark will be a combined mark for both.

Product development group journal
WEEK_____
Names of Group Members
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Below are some suggestions that you may wish to use to organize your journal entries.
 Aim for this week's activities (should be included each week)
 Formulations trialed this week (you can copy the table from your data book)
 How well did this week's formulations/product analysis meet proposed final product requirements?
 Any thoughts, impressions or ideas about how to improve your product, any problems you foresee or possible solutions. Include support from the food
   science literature.
 Minutes of group meetings if held outside of class hours
 Clarity and frequency of communication between group members. What format did communication take and was this efficient and effective?
 Teamwork—how well or otherwise did the group function.
 
All cited sources are to be listed at the end of the week's journal entry.
Remember that your aim as a group is to win the award!

Appendix 4

Feedback form for product development group journal and data book
Group members.
Mark Criterion Unsatisfactory Satisfactory Good Excellent
Clear statement of weekly aims    
Quality of results analysis    
Evidence of ability to apply food science and technology literature to product development    
Quality of documentation of product development/ process    
Group functioning— insights into the group's development, current strengths and weaknesses, suggestions for improvement    

Appendix 5

Product marking key for the ICL unit
Criterion Excellent Good Fair Poor Assigned points Points
  1. Comments:

Innovativeness of the productThe product does not have a similar product in the market and is totally innovativeThere are a few new products in the market similar to the product but the flavor and concept/approach is innovativeSimilar products have been on the market for a long time but the flavor and concept/approach is somewhat innovativeSimilar product has been in the market for a long time and there is nothing innovative about the proposed product30 
Possible commercial manufacture of the productClear commercial opportunity with realistic shelf life achievable through known technology.Possible commercial opportunity with shelf life achievable through known technology.May offer a commercial opportunity but may require new technology OR does not offer a realistic shelf life using known technologyThe proposed products cannot be commercially manufactured.30 
Product acceptabilityExcellent sensory acceptability with no unacceptable sensory characteristicsGood sensory acceptability with some unacceptable sensory characteristicsSensory characteristics are OK but will not be a success in the target marketThe product is unacceptable10 
Appeal to target marketClear understanding of the target market and the product is designed to meet the market demandSome understanding of the target market and the product is partially designed to meet the market demandPoor understanding the target market and the product is poorly designed to meet the market demandThe product is not designed to meet a market demand and the target market is not obvious10 
Presentation of product for evaluation (emphasis on product presentation and package rather than on labeling but must be accurate)Product presented in an appropriate package and in an appealing manner with a label that is fully compliant with legislationProduct presented in an appropriate package but less appealing manner with label that has minor mistakesProduct presented either packaged inappropriately or in an unappealing manner with several labeling errors OR packaging is not appropriate to productProduct not appropriately packaged or presented and labeling has serious errors20 
Total    100 

Appendix 6

The presentation marking key for the ICL unit
Criterion Assigned points Score Comments
Demonstrates a good grasp of the product development process and industrial manufacture of the product15  
Clearly identifies the target market and market appeal10  
Applies technologies appropriately to the product, problem solving and extension of its shelf life15  
Demonstrates the appropriate application of food safety / HACCP parameters10  
Use of resources other than textbook in making decisions5  
Responds confidently and fully to questions10  
Presentation includes a concise introduction5  
Presentation includes a clear conclusion.5  
Presenters demonstrate confidence, interest and enthusiasm (speak clearly, well-rehearsed and can be heard)5  
Presenters have positive body language and maintain eye contact with audience5  
Visual aids are clear and attractive5  
Presenters demonstrate good time management5  
Overall organization, consistency and flow of presentation5  
Total 100