InTouch : iPods a Popular tool for Cookery Students

Otago Polytech is using new generation technology to capture new generation of hospitality students. The cookery students at Otago Polytechnic’s Dunedin campus are downloading short training videos onto their iPods enabling them to learn “when they want, how they want”.
Tony Heptinstall, the cookery programme manager at the polytech, told delegates at the HSI Conference last month that the students love this way of learning and that since its introduction, “re-sits are way down – from 230 to 90”.
Heptinstall was speaking at the Institutes of Technology & Polytechnics NZ (ITPNZ) Hospitality Research Forum at the conference. He explained that VARK (Visual, Aural, Read/write, Kinesthetic) tests to determine the predominant learning styles of the cookery students revealed that 75 percent of them were visual/kinesthetic learners, ie they didn’t learn best from reading and writing.
The upshot of that was the production of more than 40 practical demonstration video clips that were accessible through YouTube.com, the polytech’s level 4 cookery blog and Blackboard e-learning site. The challenge then was to deliver them via medium the students could easily access while working in the industry and with little spare time to sit at the keyboard.
Converting the clips to an iPod format was the perfect solution to meeting the students’ needs; students could use them on the job for quick refresher. The lecturers have since added lecture notes, Powerpoint and Keynote presentations, quizzes and books to the iPod learning resource. Placing the course material on iPod and iTunes has, in effect, created fully portable classroom.
The future of this training breakthrough is far from certain however, as Heptinstall said the iPod project had so far been undertaken without funding. He nevertheless believed that the iPod training model had great potential and could be applied to much more than chef training.

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