Nathan Vasanthan Chef Lecturer London School of Hospitality and Tourism
In the area of hospitality and professional cookery, the majority of summative assessments involve the creation of products by the student that are recorded on a device with the accompanying feedback. Prior to securing a number of iPads in the school, the recording of practical assessments and feedback remained on paper with photographic evidence of the work products or dishes created by the students. The assessments were recorded with a smartphone or digital camera. However, some groups were not following this method of recording the examples of student work. The use of iPads has been introduced within hospitality and professional cookery to remove or minimise the seemingly inconvenient way of accessing records for a very practical area of the subject discipline. This enables staff and students to be involved in the process of capturing rich, visually appealing and creative ideas whilst supporting the timely delivery of feedback. It assists staff in implementing standards for the recording of practical assessments across the school.
The use of digital cameras is seen as an effective means of producing good quality images. It is evident that when a tutor discusses an individual learner’s performance, the photographs of their work can help reduce any uncertainties around the quality of the work and remove any potential ambiguity. The approach is a means to enhance the overall quality and timely delivery of feedback to the student. The camera screens can prove to be very small and inadequate for this purpose and the replay quality remains quite poor. Before embarking on using iPads in hospitality and professional cookery, members of staff found that recording verbal feedback on the smaller devices became difficult. The images that were produced had to be backed up regularly to free up storage space on the device. This proved to be a time consuming, manual process and involved the use of cables and card readers. One main disadvantage was the short battery life of the devices. The use of iPads for learning, teaching and assessment has started to become fairly main-stream across the sector.