With the new school year quickly approaching, Culinary Institutes and Universities offering courses such as food science and nutrition comprehension are having to function for the first time without a physical computer lab. If you are finding yourself in this group, you aren’t alone. In the wake of COVID-19, we’ve had the opportunity to expand the reach of our software platform to students who are distance learning. As a strong pillar in the food industry in regards to FDA-compliant nutrition analysis, nutrition reporting and even nutrition facts panel creation, we’ve served food business professionals for nearly 20 years. And now that we’ve had the privilege of working with Institutes and Universities that are shaping the minds of nutrition professionals-in-training, we’re thrilled to share how our cloud-based platform can deliver a true classroom experience during these uncertain times. So if you’ve been scrambling to find a way to teach your students without a computer lab, look no further, we’ve got a complete classroom feature suite with your name on. And we gotta say, we’re pretty jazzed about it.
Customized Classroom Dashboard
If you’ve ever had the opportunity to experience distance learning in the past, you already know how important it is to have open communication lines as both a professor and a student. Making the switch from a physical classroom setting can be a tricky one and can cause those in charge of facilitating that change to ask a number of questions, the main one being: How does one retain a true classroom experience for the students to feel like they are fully immersed in the professor’s lesson plan and have adequate access and attention to their professor?
This is where a customized classroom dashboard can be a true resource to both student and faculty. MenuCalc’s classroom dashboard affords the Professor the opportunity to upload lesson plans, communicate with students and receive assignments from students instantly. This opens the line of communication and provides a virtual classroom experience. Although the student no longer sits in a physical classroom, the access to their professor for everything from questions to assignment submission is all at their fingertips. Students utilizing the dashboard also have the opportunity to interact with their peers and complete projects together, all in one place.
Instant Nutrition Analysis Reporting
Nutrition analysis was the foundation of our desire to open our platform to long-distance learners. Our platform has serviced food manufacturers, chefs, food scientists and restaurant professionals for nearly two decades. Why not open the opportunity to serve them while they train to become the food professional they wish to be? Students and faculty utilizing the MenuCalc Classroom have access to our tried and true platform that is FDA approved and populated by the USDA food database. Because the software is cloud-based, users are able to access the platform as long as they have an internet connection. When it comes to distance-learning and inaccessible computer labs, the remote access is key.
Students and teachers alike can access the MenuCalc Classroom whenever they like, wherever they are. This liberates both student and faculty to explore learning on a schedule that suits their needs and is no longer constrained to a physical computer lab with a select number of computers which house the nutrition analysis software needed to complete assignments. Students can now virtually work singly or in groups to accomplish their assignments that hinge on nutrition analysis.
Assisted Virtual Analysis
Additionally, the MenuCalc Classroom is equipped with A.V.A — our Assisted.Virtual.Analysis avatar who takes the place of a learner’s manual when it comes to familiarizing oneself with navigating the MenuCalc software. A.V.A. was written by our in-house nutritionist and built with FDA-compliance data as well as nutrition analysis basics to assist the learner in proper input of ingredients for accurate reporting. This particular feature can be activated or deactivated at the faculty’s discretion, and can be customized to assist in the facilitation of classroom lesson plans in collaboration with our nutrition team.
As an added bonus, we’ve added student insights for the faculty to be aware of how the student is interacting with the software and/or lesson plan. This feature can also be customized and specific reports can be pulled based on faculty need for assistance with distance learning.
If you are looking to implement a program like this to help your institution transition into e-learning or distance learning, we are happy to help! Please contact us today and see how MenuCalc can work for your classroom. You’ll be glad you did!