About Level3
Search archives
- June 2007
- August 2006
- May 2005
- June 2004
- November 2003
DIT Home

Read postings about this article   |   Post a comment about this article  |  print this article [pdf]

Cooking online - Investigating the effectiveness of providing on-line support material to students on a professional cookery apprenticeship course

Author - Nuala Harding


Show/ hide article menu (click icons opposite)


Course evaluation will be formative and summative. The course will be piloted and the tutor will be required if necessary to adjust the content in order to support effective learning. The data received from tracking students in their use of Moodle will also form part of the analysis of the effectiveness of the online materials. Students will be requested to complete a course evaluation form which will be based on a number of different criteria: for example, usability of the site, support of tutor, course materials, the extent to which the online materials enhanced their learning.

Expected Costs

The initial costs will be carefully tracked to include the development costs of the site, staffing costs, on-going costs such as support and licensing, and delivery costs (for example, training, purchase of hardware and software). For students the cost of using the internet access will also be a consideration. The National Co-ordinator of the Apprenticeship Programme has recently expressed an interest and intimated that they would like to be involved in this study. It is expected that funding may become available to support this project.

Expected implications and impact on future learning

It is expected that the provision of this online support will enhance the learning of the day release students by allowing them to build a learning community, which is not restricted by geographical location. This is echoed by Benjamin (1994) when he states that ‘Every learner can, at his or her own choice of time and place, access a world of multimedia material…immediately the learner is unlocked from the shackles of fixed and rigid schedules, from physical limitations… and released into an information world which reacts to his or her own pace of learning’.


This research will take place at a very opportune time, as Athlone Institute of Technology has recently made Moodle available. The students taking part in the pilot study will not have any experience of using online course materials. There is strong support from management and fellow lecturers with the Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Studies for this research, as it will inform future practice.
It is expected that the provision of support materials online will improve quality of learning, productivity of learning and improve access to learning for the Apprenticeship students. Although initially there will be implications with regard to costs it is hoped that with support from interested parties these will be outweighed by the benefits to students, lecturing staff and the institute.