With a sudden shift away from classroom instruction, many wonder whether the adoption of online instruction will continue to persist post-pandemic and how our instructors will continue to adapt to the ever-changing environment. DeWayne Shoemaker, professor and head of our Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, has been preparing for online instruction even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Shoemaker joined a fall cohort in the online course development program offered through a partnership between the UT Office of Information Technology and the director of online programs that helps faculty launch successful virtual courses.
Shoemaker has always had a passion for chocolate—good chocolate, to be specific. “I would love to develop a program on our campus built around chocolate. There would be a number of different components where students would be able to study everything about a raw agricultural commodity to the value-added byproduct of good chocolate,” he shares
The professor’s envisioned learning opportunity would give students the chance to participate in a holistic program composed of meaningful education experiences. “Think about it, students would take the basic course, then have a study abroad piece where they go see cacao being grown in the fields! We would even touch on supply chain and business as we research seed to store.”
Shoemaker continues to lay out his vision by describing a lab component where students create their own bars of chocolate. Ultimately, this course would be all-encompassing from chocolate history to creation.
Every vision needs a strong foundation and Shoemaker has created just that with the help of OIT and the director of Online Programs. EPP 123-Chocolate: Bean to Bar is an online general education course that not only engages all five senses but all learning styles. “I mean, everyone loves chocolate!” Shoemaker says jokingly. But, he truly has created a very unique and intentionally crafted course that is fully engaging and accessible online.