Development and Evaluation of an Online, Inquiry-Based Food Safety Education Program for Secondary Teachers and Their Students

Authors

  • Patricia A. Beffa-Negrini,

    1. Authors Beffa-Negrini, Cohen, and Laus are with Dept. of Nutrition, Univ. of Massachusetts—Amherst, MA 01003, U.S.A. Author McLandsborough is with Dept. of Food Science, Univ. of Massachusetts—Amherst, MA 01003, U.S.A. Direct inquiries to author Beffa-Negrini (E-mail: patsy@nutrition.umass.edu).
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  • Nancy L. Cohen,

    1. Authors Beffa-Negrini, Cohen, and Laus are with Dept. of Nutrition, Univ. of Massachusetts—Amherst, MA 01003, U.S.A. Author McLandsborough is with Dept. of Food Science, Univ. of Massachusetts—Amherst, MA 01003, U.S.A. Direct inquiries to author Beffa-Negrini (E-mail: patsy@nutrition.umass.edu).
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  • Mary Jane Laus,

    1. Authors Beffa-Negrini, Cohen, and Laus are with Dept. of Nutrition, Univ. of Massachusetts—Amherst, MA 01003, U.S.A. Author McLandsborough is with Dept. of Food Science, Univ. of Massachusetts—Amherst, MA 01003, U.S.A. Direct inquiries to author Beffa-Negrini (E-mail: patsy@nutrition.umass.edu).
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  • Lynne A. McLandsborough

    1. Authors Beffa-Negrini, Cohen, and Laus are with Dept. of Nutrition, Univ. of Massachusetts—Amherst, MA 01003, U.S.A. Author McLandsborough is with Dept. of Food Science, Univ. of Massachusetts—Amherst, MA 01003, U.S.A. Direct inquiries to author Beffa-Negrini (E-mail: patsy@nutrition.umass.edu).
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Abstract

ABSTRACT:  Secondary science teachers who integrate food safety (FS) into curricula can provide FS knowledge and skills to youth while reinforcing science skills and concepts. National science education standards and the Biological Science Curriculum Study 5E Inquiry-based Learning Model were used to design an online training, Food Safety FIRST. The training has 3 modules, each with 15 h of web-based instruction, interactive discussion, and tools to conduct experiments or critical evaluation projects. A CD-ROM, web site (http://foodsafetyfirst.org), and lab kit were developed to accompany module activities. Seventy-one teachers registered for the program; 38 matched pretest/posttest evaluations were analyzed. When asked their intention to teach FS in the next year, enrollees responded “definitely” (60.5%) or “possibly” (34.2%), reaching potentially 3570 students. Participants found the training very valuable (71.1%) and were significantly more comfortable teaching FS at posttest (3.6 ± 0.5 on a 4-point Likert scale) than at pretest (2.8 ± 1.0; P < 0.0001, n= 35). Self-reported FS practices also improved from pretest (24.8 ± 5.7 out of a possible 35) to posttest (27.7 ± 4.8; P < 0.001, n= 32). On 4-point Likert scales, teachers were confident answering FS questions (3.4); confident that if they did a good job teaching this topic, students would be interested in FS (3.4); and confident FS concepts taught would meet national science standards (3.4). They found the program satisfactory for demonstrating inquiry-based learning (3.8). Most agreed that they would change FS habits (3.2). Using 5-point scales, participants agreed that they felt more able to critically evaluate FS information on the Internet (4.2) and that the training was enjoyable in an online format (4.3).

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