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A screenshot of the overview for week 1 of Making Pizza

Making Pizza

Making Pizza is an asynchronous culinary course where learners explore the history and evolution of pizza throughout the ages while learning to create their own creations from home hosted on a Moodle learning management system.

The Problem

Pizza is a beloved meal that nearly everyone for hundreds of years has enjoyed. In addition, more and more tools and appliances have been developed for individuals to create authentic pies from home. Still, for many, the bar of entry is high; pizza can be a finicky food, and making your own from home can include several hurdles, including making your own dough or even having an oven that can get to the correct temperature. As a result, it can be difficult for a home chef to recreate some of their favorite pizzas from home without doing an exhausting amount of research.

The Concept

Making Pizza explorers pizza making throughout history challenges learners to explore different varieties of pizza and empowers them with the tools to create their own pizzas from home, regardless of their experience level, equipment, or pizza pie preference.

The Planning

I began developing Making Pizza by outlining the course-level objectives. Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the history of pizza, its cultural significance, and the pizza variations enjoyed by different cultures worldwide.

  • Apply their knowledge of pizza dough-making techniques to create different types of dough, including New York style, Detroit style, Neapolitan style, and gluten-free options.

  • Synthesize their pizza sauce knowledge by creating various sauces, including traditional red, pink, white, and barbecue sauces.

  • Demonstrate their ability to combine ingredients, flavors, and techniques to create unique pizza creations.

Once the objectives were completed, I created a course-at-a-glance document. I outlined the course's timeline and weekly research, discussion, and activity assignments.

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Making Pizza course at a glance

The Design

Making Pizza is a four-week course where students progress through the various stages of developing ingredients necessary for preparing a pizza from home. Each week, students focus on a single key ingredient to give them time to fully understand the process of preparing the ingredients, the purpose of the preparation methods, and how they work to enhance the end product.

This begins with a weekly overview outlining the expectations of the assignments. The course is designed to maximize learner volition by allowing for an asynchronous learning environment and presenting students with the weekly expectations upfront, allowing the agency to plan their week and learn at their own pace.

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Following the overview, learners navigate through several research assignments designed to add context to the core course activities. The course is highly visual, and each assignment contains vivid imagery and videos to activate prior learner knowledge and create aesthetically appealing, engaging content. 

Once the research assignments are complete, learners attempt to create their own pizza ingredients at home. In addition, students document and share their experiences in a social discussion board to receive feedback and motivation from their peers.

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Examples of research and activity assignments in the Making Pizza course

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