. Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning within Molecular Gastronomy Education: Does it Benefit Students?
Since the creation of Molecular Gastronomy (MG) as a scientific discipline in 1988 a variety of higher education modules and programmes in that discipline have developed around the world. At the Dublin Institute of Technology, MG has been taught using an interdisciplinary approach since the academic year 2012/2013. A Culinary Science lecturer and a Culinary Arts lecturer work in synergy and teach an interdisciplinary group of Food Science (FS) and Culinary Arts (CA) students. The students' work
... The students' work is assessed, in each academic year, using summative methods i.e. written exam and a project assignment. In the academic year 2016/2017 the assignment reports were, for the first time, jointly written by a member from each student group. The exam results in that academic year were compared and the discussion sections of the assignment reports were analysed for word frequencies. An open-ended questionnaire was also given to the students (n = 28) to get their opinions about the structure and organisation of the MG module. There was no significant difference in the total (exam + assignment) results of the FS and CA students (p ≥ 0.05). An analysis of results for the module, pre-interdisciplinary vs. interdisciplinary, shows that the CA students benefited significantly (p ≤ 0.05) from having FS students in the group whereas there was no significant difference in the FS results when there were CA students in the group (p ≥ 0.05). Almost all the FS students commented that they enjoyed the practical application of MG. Each student said that having an interdisciplinary teaching team added depth and made the module more complete. Results showed that when writing the discussion sections of the assignment report, it would be more beneficial for a CA student to write the discussion section together with a FS student. In conclusion interdisciplinary teaching and learning within Molecular Gastronomy education is beneficial for Culinary Arts and Food Science student participants.