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Food Engineering Students' Creative Experiences in a Capstone Course

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Biological & Agricultural Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Biological & Agricultural

Page Count

16

DOI

10.18260/p.26935

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/26935

Download Count

142

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Paper Authors

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Aurelio Lopez-Malo Universidad de las Americas Puebla

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Aurelio López-Malo is Professor and Past Chair, Department of Chemical, Food, and Environmental Engineering at Universidad de las Americas Puebla in Mexico. He teaches engineering and food science related courses. His research interests include emerging technologies for food processing, natural food antimicrobials, creating effective learning environments, and science, engineering and technology education for K-12.

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Silvia Husted Unicersidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez

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Silvia Husted is Science, Engineering, and Technology Education Ph.D. is currently Coordinator of the Bachelor Diseño Digital de Medios Interactivos and full time professor in the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México. She teaches design related courses. Her research interests include emerging technologies, creative thinking, cognitive processes, and creating effective learning environments.

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Judith Virginia Gutierrez

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PhD. Science, Engineering and Technology Education. Postdoctoral Fellow at Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico.

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Nelly Ramirez-Corona Universidad de las Americas Puebla

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Nelly Ramírez-Corona is currently a Full Time Professor of Chemical Engineering at Chemical, Enviromental and Food Engineering Department, Universidad de las Americas, Puebla, México. Her teaching experience is in the area of Process Dynamics and Control, Kinetics, Catalysis and Reactor Design. She did her undergraduate studies in Chemical Engineering at the Universidad Autónoma de Tlaxcala, México, and his Master and Doctoral studies at the Instituto Tecnológico de Celaya, México. Her research interests are in the field of Process Systems Engineering, Bioprocess ModelIing and Engineering Education. Her research labor has been reported on scientific international journals and presented in different national and international conferences.

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Enrique Palou Universidad de las Americas Puebla

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Professor Palou is Director, Center for Science, Engineering, and Technology Education as well as Distinguished Professor and Past Chair, Department of Chemical, Food, and Environmental Engineering at Universidad de las Americas Puebla in Mexico. He teaches engineering, food science, and education related
courses. His research interests include emerging technologies for food processing, creating effective learning environments, using tablet PCs and associated technologies to enhance the development of 21st century expertise in engineering students, and building rigorous research capacity in science, engineering
and technology education.

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Abstract

This paper describes several creative experiences (and corresponding assessments) in a Food Product Development capstone course for Food Engineering students at University ABC. This course was designed in order for them to experience a real work environment, where they have the opportunity to think and act as experts in the field do, and included several problem-solving learning environments (PSLE) [1]. Course main goal is that students design and develop a new food product involving idea generation, formulation, process selection, nutritional facts and label, shelf-life estimation, costs, sensory evaluation, among many others aspects of its development. Students were organized into teams of two members; the group had a total of eight students (3 male). Course activities were designed for student teams to work independently in the required labs depending on their product selection; however, several course sessions and meetings with the course instructor were planned in order to promote creativity including lessons and selected exercises that provided a number of techniques to help them generate innovative solutions to the correctly defined problem. These techniques include brainstorming, vertical and lateral thinking, analogy, TRIZ, and SCAMPER [2]. In this context, a creativity test at the beginning and end of the semester was applied. The test is a self-assessment that consists of 16 questions that are grouped into 5 categories of analysis that are related to the five steps that are part of the effective creative process proposed by Csikszentmihalyi [3]: 1) Finding problems (preparation), 2) Gathering and reflecting on information (incubation), 3) Problem exploration (insight), 4) Generating and evaluating ideas (evaluation), and 5) Implementation (elaboration). Furthermore, a group of experts in the field were invited to evaluate final projects and developed food products by means of the Creative Thinking VALUE Rubric, which is made up of a set of attributes that are common to creative thinking across disciplines [4]. Instructor, peer-, and self-assessments were also performed throughout the course and on final project. Additionally, a Specific Course Rubric that included technical aspects regarding food product development as well as abilities of the team to present their product and answering questions raised during oral and poster presentations as well as during tasting of developed food products was utilized [5].

An increase in the scores for every category of the creativity test [3] applied at the beginning and end of the semester was observed. However, according to Csikszentmihalyi [3] an effective creative process should follow the five steps in the mentioned order. Students' results followed a different order; performed analysis reflected a creative thinking process that resembles the engineering method [6]. Creative Thinking VALUE Rubric mean results (out of 4) for final projects and presentations were 2.58 for Acquiring Competencies, 2.38 for Taking Risks, 2.54 for Solving Problems, 2.83 for Embracing Contradictions, 2.46 for Innovative Thinking, and 2.67 for Connecting, Synthesizing, and Transforming. Regarding the Specific Course Rubric three out of four teams’ projects received scores higher than 2.8, which correspond also to an intermediate level performance. At last, in order to identify the students’ perceptions with regards to the course and in particular to studied creative experiences a final survey was carried out. Students consider that studied course’s learning outcomes are very important and felt very confident with their progress in achieving each assessed course outcome. Every student felt that this course helped them make the transition from being a student to being a food engineer, as well as allowed them to make mistakes and learn from these. Additionally, students expressed pride regarding their achievements.

Lopez-Malo, A., & Husted, S., & Gutierrez, J. V., & Ramirez-Corona, N., & Palou, E. (2016, June), Food Engineering Students' Creative Experiences in a Capstone Course Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26935

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