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Many food science and nutrition departments at colleges and universities have developed tools for assessing student learning. Below are 2 web-accessible assessment resources found as a result of a simple Internet search.

Iowa State Univ. Dept. of Food Science and Human Nutrition. Learner Outcomes Assessment Portfolio. http://www.fshn.hs.iastate.edu/outcomes/homepage.php (accessed 8/29/2007)

Utah State Univ. Nutrition & Food Sciences. Assessment Plan. http://www.nfs.usu.edu/academics/assessment/assessment.html (accessed 8/29/2007)

In future columns I would like to include web links to assessment tools created by academic food science and nutrition departments. If your department has an assessment tool available online, please e-mail me and I will include it in my next column. As always, we welcome your comments and resources. Material should be submitted to: Jim Bird, Science & Engineering Center, Fogler Library, Univ. of Maine, Orono, ME 04469 or e-mail to Jim.Bird@umit.maine.edu. If e-mailing, please put “JFSE submission” in the subject line.

Diefes-Dux HA, Dyehouse M, Bennett D, and Imbrie PK. 2007. Nanotechnology awareness of first-year food and agriculture students following a brief exposure. J Nat Res Life Sci Educ 36:58–65.

  1. Top of page
  2. Diefes-Dux HA, Dyehouse M, Bennett D, and Imbrie PK. 2007. Nanotechnology awareness of first-year food and agriculture students following a brief exposure. J Nat Res Life Sci Educ 36:58–65.
  3. Egan MB, Raats MM, Grubb SM, Eves A, Lumbers ML, Dean MS, and Adams MR. 2007. A review of food safety and food hygiene training studies in the commercial sector. Food Contr 18(10):1180–90.
  4. Harmon AH and Maretzki AN. 2006. Assessing food system attitudes among youth: Development and evaluation of attitude measures. J Nutr Educ Behav 38(2):91–5.
  5. Mather EC and McNiel PA. 2006. The online professional master of science in food safety degree program at Michigan State University: An innovative graduate education in food safety. J Vet Med Educ 33(2):272–8.
  6. Moreno NP, Roberts JK, Tharp BZ, Denk JP, Cutler PH, and Thomson WA. 2005. Increasing student learning through space life sciences education. Acta Astronaut 56(9-12):783–91.
  7. Samman S, McArthur JO, and Peat M. 2006. Defining core elements and outstanding practice in nutritional science through collaborative benchmarking. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 15(1):6–9.
  8. Shmaefsky BR. 2005. A fruity biochemistry demonstration. J Coll Sci Teach 34(6):64–5.

The authors note the need for trained nanotechnology professionals in the areas of food and agriculture research. During the second week of the course AGR 101- Introduction to the School of Agriculture and Purdue Univ., students were introduced to the field of nanotechnology in two 50- minute seminars. Students also took an online attendance quiz at the end of each seminar, each including 3 questions on nanotechnology. A small percentage of students took advantage of 2 “Nanotechnology in Action” tours that included hands-on demonstration stations. A pre- and post-survey was administered to students in the course. Of the 514 students taking the course, 335 student surveys were analyzed. The results showed that this exposure to nanotechnology information led to an increase in student awareness of the subject. A detailed analysis of the results is presented.

Egan MB, Raats MM, Grubb SM, Eves A, Lumbers ML, Dean MS, and Adams MR. 2007. A review of food safety and food hygiene training studies in the commercial sector. Food Contr 18(10):1180–90.

  1. Top of page
  2. Diefes-Dux HA, Dyehouse M, Bennett D, and Imbrie PK. 2007. Nanotechnology awareness of first-year food and agriculture students following a brief exposure. J Nat Res Life Sci Educ 36:58–65.
  3. Egan MB, Raats MM, Grubb SM, Eves A, Lumbers ML, Dean MS, and Adams MR. 2007. A review of food safety and food hygiene training studies in the commercial sector. Food Contr 18(10):1180–90.
  4. Harmon AH and Maretzki AN. 2006. Assessing food system attitudes among youth: Development and evaluation of attitude measures. J Nutr Educ Behav 38(2):91–5.
  5. Mather EC and McNiel PA. 2006. The online professional master of science in food safety degree program at Michigan State University: An innovative graduate education in food safety. J Vet Med Educ 33(2):272–8.
  6. Moreno NP, Roberts JK, Tharp BZ, Denk JP, Cutler PH, and Thomson WA. 2005. Increasing student learning through space life sciences education. Acta Astronaut 56(9-12):783–91.
  7. Samman S, McArthur JO, and Peat M. 2006. Defining core elements and outstanding practice in nutritional science through collaborative benchmarking. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 15(1):6–9.
  8. Shmaefsky BR. 2005. A fruity biochemistry demonstration. J Coll Sci Teach 34(6):64–5.

The authors review 46 food safety and hygiene training studies, presenting study results in a series of 4 detailed tables. Summarized are food hygiene training evaluation studies using the following designs: Descriptive, audit, before-after, and comparative-experimentalist. This review is extensive, citing 101 references and with the recent publication date, readers will have an up-to-date literature review on this subject.

Harmon AH and Maretzki AN. 2006. Assessing food system attitudes among youth: Development and evaluation of attitude measures. J Nutr Educ Behav 38(2):91–5.

  1. Top of page
  2. Diefes-Dux HA, Dyehouse M, Bennett D, and Imbrie PK. 2007. Nanotechnology awareness of first-year food and agriculture students following a brief exposure. J Nat Res Life Sci Educ 36:58–65.
  3. Egan MB, Raats MM, Grubb SM, Eves A, Lumbers ML, Dean MS, and Adams MR. 2007. A review of food safety and food hygiene training studies in the commercial sector. Food Contr 18(10):1180–90.
  4. Harmon AH and Maretzki AN. 2006. Assessing food system attitudes among youth: Development and evaluation of attitude measures. J Nutr Educ Behav 38(2):91–5.
  5. Mather EC and McNiel PA. 2006. The online professional master of science in food safety degree program at Michigan State University: An innovative graduate education in food safety. J Vet Med Educ 33(2):272–8.
  6. Moreno NP, Roberts JK, Tharp BZ, Denk JP, Cutler PH, and Thomson WA. 2005. Increasing student learning through space life sciences education. Acta Astronaut 56(9-12):783–91.
  7. Samman S, McArthur JO, and Peat M. 2006. Defining core elements and outstanding practice in nutritional science through collaborative benchmarking. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 15(1):6–9.
  8. Shmaefsky BR. 2005. A fruity biochemistry demonstration. J Coll Sci Teach 34(6):64–5.

Using the Delphi method the authors gathered food system education topics from nutrition educators. Using this information, a questionnaire was developed to assess attitudes of high school students on topics such as farmland protection, organic agriculture, hunger, and locally-produced foods. The reliability and validity of the attitude measures are discussed. The authors note that: “The challenge for nutrition educators who choose to engage in food system education is to first understand the complex interconnections among food production, processing, distribution, retail, and consumption, and then to devise creative ways to communicate about that complexity to a young audience.” (p. 95).

Mather EC and McNiel PA. 2006. The online professional master of science in food safety degree program at Michigan State University: An innovative graduate education in food safety. J Vet Med Educ 33(2):272–8.

  1. Top of page
  2. Diefes-Dux HA, Dyehouse M, Bennett D, and Imbrie PK. 2007. Nanotechnology awareness of first-year food and agriculture students following a brief exposure. J Nat Res Life Sci Educ 36:58–65.
  3. Egan MB, Raats MM, Grubb SM, Eves A, Lumbers ML, Dean MS, and Adams MR. 2007. A review of food safety and food hygiene training studies in the commercial sector. Food Contr 18(10):1180–90.
  4. Harmon AH and Maretzki AN. 2006. Assessing food system attitudes among youth: Development and evaluation of attitude measures. J Nutr Educ Behav 38(2):91–5.
  5. Mather EC and McNiel PA. 2006. The online professional master of science in food safety degree program at Michigan State University: An innovative graduate education in food safety. J Vet Med Educ 33(2):272–8.
  6. Moreno NP, Roberts JK, Tharp BZ, Denk JP, Cutler PH, and Thomson WA. 2005. Increasing student learning through space life sciences education. Acta Astronaut 56(9-12):783–91.
  7. Samman S, McArthur JO, and Peat M. 2006. Defining core elements and outstanding practice in nutritional science through collaborative benchmarking. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 15(1):6–9.
  8. Shmaefsky BR. 2005. A fruity biochemistry demonstration. J Coll Sci Teach 34(6):64–5.

The professional master of science degree program in food safety offered online for adult learners at Michigan State Univ. is described in detail including background on the establishment of the program, challenges, and curriculum. An overview of the first 3 years of the program, including student demographics, is presented. Information on the program can be found at: http://www.foodsafe.msu.edu/proms/ (accessed 8/22/2007).

Moreno NP, Roberts JK, Tharp BZ, Denk JP, Cutler PH, and Thomson WA. 2005. Increasing student learning through space life sciences education. Acta Astronaut 56(9-12):783–91.

  1. Top of page
  2. Diefes-Dux HA, Dyehouse M, Bennett D, and Imbrie PK. 2007. Nanotechnology awareness of first-year food and agriculture students following a brief exposure. J Nat Res Life Sci Educ 36:58–65.
  3. Egan MB, Raats MM, Grubb SM, Eves A, Lumbers ML, Dean MS, and Adams MR. 2007. A review of food safety and food hygiene training studies in the commercial sector. Food Contr 18(10):1180–90.
  4. Harmon AH and Maretzki AN. 2006. Assessing food system attitudes among youth: Development and evaluation of attitude measures. J Nutr Educ Behav 38(2):91–5.
  5. Mather EC and McNiel PA. 2006. The online professional master of science in food safety degree program at Michigan State University: An innovative graduate education in food safety. J Vet Med Educ 33(2):272–8.
  6. Moreno NP, Roberts JK, Tharp BZ, Denk JP, Cutler PH, and Thomson WA. 2005. Increasing student learning through space life sciences education. Acta Astronaut 56(9-12):783–91.
  7. Samman S, McArthur JO, and Peat M. 2006. Defining core elements and outstanding practice in nutritional science through collaborative benchmarking. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 15(1):6–9.
  8. Shmaefsky BR. 2005. A fruity biochemistry demonstration. J Coll Sci Teach 34(6):64–5.

This paper describes the results of field testing of Baylor College of Medicine Food and Fitness unit, part of the series From Outer Space to Inner Space for middle school children. The unit tested had 6 activities: Energy for life, energy sources, your energy needs, do you fit? you are what you eat, and eating for life. The results of the field test showed “…the unit does…improve students' knowledge of concepts related to energy and nutrition, as measured by the pre/post student assessment.” (p. 789). Descriptions of the unit and the teacher's guide can be found at Baylor College of Medicine Center for Educational Outreach: http://www.ccitonline.org/ceo/content.cfm?menu_id=147 (assessed 8/22/2007).

Samman S, McArthur JO, and Peat M. 2006. Defining core elements and outstanding practice in nutritional science through collaborative benchmarking. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 15(1):6–9.

  1. Top of page
  2. Diefes-Dux HA, Dyehouse M, Bennett D, and Imbrie PK. 2007. Nanotechnology awareness of first-year food and agriculture students following a brief exposure. J Nat Res Life Sci Educ 36:58–65.
  3. Egan MB, Raats MM, Grubb SM, Eves A, Lumbers ML, Dean MS, and Adams MR. 2007. A review of food safety and food hygiene training studies in the commercial sector. Food Contr 18(10):1180–90.
  4. Harmon AH and Maretzki AN. 2006. Assessing food system attitudes among youth: Development and evaluation of attitude measures. J Nutr Educ Behav 38(2):91–5.
  5. Mather EC and McNiel PA. 2006. The online professional master of science in food safety degree program at Michigan State University: An innovative graduate education in food safety. J Vet Med Educ 33(2):272–8.
  6. Moreno NP, Roberts JK, Tharp BZ, Denk JP, Cutler PH, and Thomson WA. 2005. Increasing student learning through space life sciences education. Acta Astronaut 56(9-12):783–91.
  7. Samman S, McArthur JO, and Peat M. 2006. Defining core elements and outstanding practice in nutritional science through collaborative benchmarking. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 15(1):6–9.
  8. Shmaefsky BR. 2005. A fruity biochemistry demonstration. J Coll Sci Teach 34(6):64–5.

Based on the results of a survey sent to 8 Australian universities (7 respondents), the authors list 15 core elements that should be part of a university nutritional sciences program. Examples of core elements included food standards and regulation; assessment of nutritional status; and absorption, transport, storage, and excretion of nutrients. The benchmarking portion of the survey was responded to by 4 universities and identified good and outstanding practices in scholarly teaching of nutritional science. One indicator of outstanding practice found to be consistent among respondents was “...the integration of teaching with research.” (p. 7).

Shmaefsky BR. 2005. A fruity biochemistry demonstration. J Coll Sci Teach 34(6):64–5.

  1. Top of page
  2. Diefes-Dux HA, Dyehouse M, Bennett D, and Imbrie PK. 2007. Nanotechnology awareness of first-year food and agriculture students following a brief exposure. J Nat Res Life Sci Educ 36:58–65.
  3. Egan MB, Raats MM, Grubb SM, Eves A, Lumbers ML, Dean MS, and Adams MR. 2007. A review of food safety and food hygiene training studies in the commercial sector. Food Contr 18(10):1180–90.
  4. Harmon AH and Maretzki AN. 2006. Assessing food system attitudes among youth: Development and evaluation of attitude measures. J Nutr Educ Behav 38(2):91–5.
  5. Mather EC and McNiel PA. 2006. The online professional master of science in food safety degree program at Michigan State University: An innovative graduate education in food safety. J Vet Med Educ 33(2):272–8.
  6. Moreno NP, Roberts JK, Tharp BZ, Denk JP, Cutler PH, and Thomson WA. 2005. Increasing student learning through space life sciences education. Acta Astronaut 56(9-12):783–91.
  7. Samman S, McArthur JO, and Peat M. 2006. Defining core elements and outstanding practice in nutritional science through collaborative benchmarking. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 15(1):6–9.
  8. Shmaefsky BR. 2005. A fruity biochemistry demonstration. J Coll Sci Teach 34(6):64–5.

The author describes a classroom demonstration on biochemistry principles of fruit and vegetable spoilage to teach scientific inquiry and reasoning skills. Catalase activity, proteases, and metabolic pathways are discussed in relation to the ripening of fruit and vegetables.