YouTube the most important ingredient for Culinary Arts

Israel Villanueva, an assistant professor in Del Mar College’s Culinary Arts Program, earned a master’s in education technology from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

Program still able to train students during pandemic

When it comes to virtual learning, Israel Villanueva may have created the perfect recipe.

Villanueva, an assistant professor in Del Mar College’s Culinary Arts Program, is no stranger to virtual instruction or technology.

Before joining Del Mar, he earned a master’s in education technology from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, where part of his education required him to teach a six-week hybrid Fusion Cooking Course for a women’s shelter using YouTube and a webpage he created.  

“The first thing I did when I arrived as a full-time instructor, I updated the curriculum. I turned to a textbook that had online content. So, when COVID hit, I was totally prepared and just took off with it on YouTube,” Villanueva said.

Culinary classes are impossible to teach entirely online because of the cooking factor, according to Villanueva, but he chose to upload all his lectures to YouTube anyway because the platform is so popular among young students. 

A culinary student prepares a meal during a recent class. Culinary classes are impossible to teach entirely online because of the cooking factor, according to instructor Israel Villanueva, but he chose to upload all his lectures to YouTube anyway because the platform is so popular among young students.

In his videos he not only describes how to do something but he also shows students exactly what he means by being physically descriptive and asking students for feedback. 

“Having a planned script and sometimes a casual conversation makes the students feel at ease,” Villanueva said. 

He also makes it a point to refer to textbook page numbers for those who want to follow along and provides students with a handout on the main topics covered. 

“It appears that most that dislike online learning are the ones caught up in the digital divide,” Villanueva said. “Those that don’t have access or limited access to technology, whether it be Baby Boomers missing out on learning to use it, underprivileged students, or due to people’s different styles of learning (hands-on, in writing, or in person).”

According to Villanueva, those who find themselves in any of these groups should use all the resources Del Mar has to offer. 

“Contact the help desk or team up with a classmate to learn and be able to access the technology,” Villanueva said. “Always ask your instructor for clarity or assistance in accessing online content. Practicing and ‘playing around’ with navigating through online content will not hurt anything; practice makes perfect!”

Check out the following video from Del Mar to see how the program has adjusted to the pandemic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSgPNIKzTIk.

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