`Olive Oil School Wraps Up Its First Semester - Olive Oil Times

Olive Oil School Wraps Up Its First Semester

Jun. 26, 2014
Denise Johnson

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The International Olive Oil School com­pleted the last sched­uled course of its inau­gural sea­son last week with a ses­sion on olive oil qual­ity assur­ance broad­cast live from the UC Davis Olive Center in California.

After a sum­mer break, the school says it will intro­duce a new, expanded cat­a­log of online courses for its fall 2014 semester.

Olive Oil Times pub­lisher and IOOS direc­tor Curtis Cord called the new ini­tia­tive a major suc­cess. What we were able to do was facil­i­tate an exchange of valu­able infor­ma­tion between world-renowned olive oil experts, wher­ever they were, and par­tic­i­pants on six con­ti­nents,” said Cord.

So far, the school has gar­nered high praise from par­tic­i­pants. According to sur­veys, 98 per­cent of atten­dees con­sid­ered their instruc­tor to be extremely knowl­edge­able,” and 92 per­cent said they were very likely” to return to take another IOOS course.

That kind of encour­age­ment tells us we’re on to some­thing,” Cord said, and we have col­lected detailed feed­back through­out the first semes­ter, so we know exactlty where we need to make changes to our pro­gram and the tech­nol­ogy that sup­ports it.”

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One such change will be a move toward shorter, more fre­quent and highly spe­cial­ized courses giv­ing par­tic­i­pants the flex­i­bil­ity to build their own cus­tomized cur­ricu­lum, Cord hinted.

Over the sum­mer the school will be mak­ing enhance­ments to its plat­form and mak­ing fur­ther invest­ments in the tech­nol­ogy behind the school’s live, inter­ac­tive broadcasts.

Also start­ing this fall, a new pro­pri­etary sys­tem to test stu­dent pro­fi­ciency will be intro­duced. And as par­tic­i­pants col­lect merit cer­tifi­cates for each suc­cess­fully com­pleted courses, they will achieve ever higher dis­tinc­tions within the school. Cord, then envi­sions a sim­ple net­work where peo­ple with cer­tain skill sets can choose to be con­nected with oth­ers in need of such expertise.

IOOS par­tic­i­pants receive tast­ing sam­ples and other mate­ri­als by courier in advance of their course and taste along with instruc­tors. Instructors respond to ques­tions in real time via an onscreen chat dur­ing the live broadcast.

IOOS is not endorsed or sup­ported by any out­side com­pany, and the cur­ricu­lum is devel­oped in con­sul­ta­tion with the world’s fore­most experts in their fields.

To be noti­fied when new courses are announced, sign up to receive IOOS emails.

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