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An evaluation tool for measuring food skills acquisition

Sandra Fordyce-Voorham (Faculty of Science Medicine and Health, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia) (Head of Food and Nutrition, Mentone Girls’ Grammar School, Melbourne, Australia)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 2 May 2017




The purpose of this paper is to design an objective, valid and reliable “Checklist” tool that teachers could use to measure their students’ food skills acquisition.


The design of the Checklist was based on 18 procedural food skills identified by teachers and verified by analysis of skills in recipes that are typically used in food education programmes in secondary schools. The skills were divided into five skill-sets and a recipe covering the skills was selected to test the Checklist. For the test, three hypothetical situations of a person with low, some and expert skills making the recipe were demonstrated in separate videos. Teachers were invited to test the Checklist by viewing the videos, completing the Checklist for each of the three conditions and completing an evaluation.


In total, 40 home economics teachers tested the Checklist and reported that they could use the tool to measure the development and progress of their students’ procedural food skills. Analysis of variance analyses of the data and the non-parametric analyses suggest that the Checklist is a reliable and valid evaluation tool.


Teachers report using various tools to measure their students’ food skills acquisition but these have not been well-documented in the literature. These preliminary findings of an original and quantifiable tool showed that home economics teachers used the Checklist to measure their students’ procedural skills however, as the teachers’ comments suggest, further development and validation of the tool are required.



The author acknowledges the members of Home Economics Victoria and the Larnook Ex-Students’ Association who assisted with the recruitment of participants and testing of the Checklist and the colleagues in the home economics profession in Australia and across the globe who gave so freely of their time to participate in the research. The author gives special thanks to Dr Wei Wang, Research Fellow at the Faculty of Health, School of Nursing and Midwifery at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia for assistance with the statistical data analyses and Professor Tony Worsley, Chair in Behavioural Nutrition, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.


Fordyce-Voorham, S. (2017), "An evaluation tool for measuring food skills acquisition", British Food Journal, Vol. 119 No. 5, pp. 1028-1044.



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