On-line Compared with Face-to-face Introductory Food Science Courses: An Assessment


Direct inquiries to author Culbertson (E-mail: jeffc@uidaho.edu).


ABSTRACT: This study tracked and compared the performance of traditional classroom and on-line students in 2 introductory level food science classes. Student evaluations were also compared for the 2 groups. All of the Face-to-face (FTF) students were full-time college students. Seventynine percent of on-line students lived over 50 miles from campus. About 21% of the on-line enrollments were of skilled workers from the food industry. Performance on standardized exams was significantly higher for on-line students. Student evaluations were very positive for both forms of instruction. Differences in maturity, academic load, motivation, class standing, and experience/knowledge of the food industry may have all played a role in the observed results. Although our study cannot differentiate between these effects, it is apparent that on-line food science instruction can be an effective alternative for individuals who are unable to attend traditional courses.