Texas State Technical College has implemented a hybrid learning format as part of the many safety regulations being followed during the ongoing pandemic.
However, even with more sessions being taught online, programs like Culinary Arts are still managing to give students the hands-on learning that TSTC has become known for.
“Every week students meet their hands-on training,” said Culinary Arts instructor Ayla Cabarubio. “While completing an on-campus lab, students are provided with their own designated workspace, which allows for social distancing standards to be met.”
Lead Culinary Arts instructor Emma Creps mentioned a positive aspect of the new way of learning.
“The class sizes are smaller in order to maintain social distancing, and the good thing about that is that students get more time from the instructor, whereas before the instructor had to split their time with a larger group.”
Safety has been important at TSTC throughout the coronavirus outbreak, and the safety standards do not stop once students leave the room.
“After labs are completed and the students have exited the building, the lab space is cleaned and sanitized by the instructor,” said Cabarubio. “Maintaining a clean and safe lab environment is our top priority.”
Although Culinary Arts students are required to participate in labs on campus, a large amount of their coursework is done remotely.
“All the coursework for the program is now uploaded to Moodle,” Cabarubio said. “This allows flexibility with the lecture aspect of the course, allowing students to complete those assessments remotely.”
Virtual labs are also being implemented in the program, with the instructor on campus and the students in their own kitchens.
“The instructor conducts the class through Google Meet,” Creps said. “Students are provided the ingredients for their labs. Pickups are done once a week, and ingredients they get are based on the class they are in. Students follow along virtually as the instructor demonstrates how to make a product, such as bread rolls, croissants, filleting a fish, and even the different ways to cook fish.”
Students are adapting well to the new way of learning.
“Students seem to be adjusting to the new learning environment,” Cabarubio said. “After the first week, they got a feel for the course structure, and they began making it part of their routine.”
To learn more about TSTC’s Culinary Arts program, visit https://www.tstc.edu/programs/CulinaryArts.
Photo caption: Culinary Arts instructors prepping for their virtual lab. (Photo courtesy of TSTC.)