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For immediate release

University of Georgia Uses Bb Collaborate to Connect Students with Experts Worldwide

To read the original press release by the University of Georgia Office of the Chief Information Officer and Enterprise Information Technology Services (EITS), click here


Online program in food technology connects students with experts worldwide

ATHENS, Ga.— After a day in the food industry, perhaps as a food inspector, you get home in plenty of time to prepare for your evening class. Tonight you will be hearing a lecture from a food technology expert in England, or maybe China … and you are in Atlanta, GA. A few steps to your computer, a few clicks of the mouse, and the lecture begins.

Thanks to Dr. Aaron Brody, author of nine books on food packaging and new product development and an adjunct professor in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, your lecture has been arranged using the online teaching tool Wimba Classroom.

“We naturally drifted toward on online program for the Master in Food Technology a few years ago,” said Brody. “Our students are professionals in the food industry who wish to increase their knowledge of food technology while employed and an online teaching environment accommodates these students very well.”

The Master in Food Technology (MFT) at UGA is an online degree program consisting of 30 hours of course work. The objective of the MFT degree is to provide advanced training for anyone seeking to upgrade their food science knowledge.

MFT students are typically working professionals who will gain timely, up-to-date knowledge on current techniques and instrumentation, as well as current issues dealing with regulation, food safety, HAACP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point), etc.

The MFT program is in the Department of Food Science and Technology. Dr. Louise Wicker coordinates the program and also teaches courses.

“With Wimba Classroom we are able to bring in experts from around the world to enhance the coursework,” said Brody. “These experts provide a wealth of up-to-date material from their real-world experiences.”

Wimba Classroom (http://wimba.uga.edu) is a flexible, web-based tool for conducting live online classes that can be archived and viewed at a later time. It is used at the University of Georgia for online instruction, often in conjunction with eLearning Commons (UGA’s primary Learning Management System).

“Students interact with the lecturers and instructors either by typing or speaking,” said Brody. “There is typically a lot of discussion, so having multiple ways for students to ask questions is very useful.”

Dr. Brody relies on EITS technical expertise to make sure things go as smoothly as possible.

Robert Ethier, an IT professional principal, is Dr. Brody’s primary technical contact.

“I provide instruction for outside lecturers and others who might not be familiar with Wimba Classroom. I sometimes sit in on classes to make sure that things go well,” said Ethier.

The annual conference of the Research Chefs Association at the World Congress Center in Atlanta on March 5 afforded Dr. Brody a special treat. Three of his Atlanta students attended the conference and met with Dr. Brody.

“It was very exciting to meet these students. After all of our online interactions, it was a real joy to have a face-to-face conversation,” said Brody.

About the Office of the CIO and EITS
The Office of the Chief Information Officer and Enterprise Information Technology Services (EITS) are committed to the mission of UGA as a land-grant and-sea-grant institution where academics come first and the research extensive university community encourages research efforts at the undergraduate and graduate levels. To that end, under the direction of the University´s Chief Information Officer, EITS endeavors to provide a robust, reliable, and secure information technology infrastructure, maintain essential production services, and offer world-class support. For more information, see: