What Do I Expect Students to Know and Do – CP Part 1A

I had almost made a new friend and then I went and scared her away. She asked a simple question. “Ann, how do you write so much?” I gave a truthful answer. “Because writing is the only way that I can make the voices in my head take turns talking.”


This afternoon, all of the other voices must yield the floor to the one that wants to focus on Joyce Kincannon’s “Using the Community of Inquiry Model for Course Design.” I appreciate the fact that she starts with cognitive presence and that the first essential question she raises is “What do you expect the students to know and do by the end of the course”? It is my intention to design two courses and I have a better-developed answer to this question for one course than for the other. My answer for the Sociology of Nutrition is “too much” and my answer for Seminar in Social Inequalities is a big shoulder shrugging, “I do not know, yet.”


By the end of the semester, I want the participants in the Sociology of Nutrition to produce a collaborative multimodal web based presentation describing a project designed to improve the environment in which individuals in the USA make food choices.

I am not ready to provide a complete list, but I do know where the “knowing” must start. Some of the things that participants need to know early in the semester include:

  • Nutrition education involves more than providing people with information.
  • Nutritional knowledge alone is not sufficient to change individual food choices.
  • Many factors influence the food choices of individuals. As Contento illustrates, these factors include:
  1. Biologically determined behavioral predispositions
  2. Experience with food
  3.  Personal factors (intra-person and inter-personal)
  4.  Environmental factors.


Figure 1 Determinants of Food Choice

Figure 1 Determinants of Food Choice



The importance of environmental factors is widely and increasingly recognized (Contento, 2008). As a learning community, we will examine several of the environmental factors that make it more difficult for people to make healthy food choices. The teams will identify or devise strategies for making the healthy choice the easy choice and present those strategies near the end of the semester.



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