Delivering and evaluating on-line degree programs in culinary arts/management: perceptions of educators and industry practitioners

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Southern New Hampshire University
This quantitative research examines the perceptions of culinary arts/management educators and culinary industry practitioners on the future of online culinary arts education. Specifically pertaining to the recommended procedures by educators and chefs to judge and critique the quality of food products in terms sensory modalities, and what the key quality indicators for online culinary arts programs may be. While much of the current literature concerning perceptions of online culinary arts education relates to students and faculty, little focus is on the design of effective online culinary arts curricula. Therefore, this study informs culinary arts educators who seek to understand how to teach practical culinary arts skills effectively and appropriately through online media. An electronic survey was sent via email to 1,250 members of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) and the International Council of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Educators (ICHRIE). Undeliverable emails resulted in 1,204 potential participants. Participation was 18.8% (n = 226). This study found significant differences between the two groups on the importance ratings of three of the professional courses and four of the general educational courses. Significant differences between the two groups were also found on the measures of importance on the factors of quality for an online culinary arts program. The results also demonstrated that there are no significant differences between culinary arts/management educators and industry practitioners on the recommended procedures to judge and critique the quality of the food products in terms of sensory modalities. The findings of this study suggest that online culinary arts programs develop a curriculum that meets the essential demands for future culinarians. The design of such a program should incorporate more hands-on rather than theoretical content. Furthermore, curriculum should be designed to take into account gaps in knowledge of culinary arts students. (Author abstract)