We are designing a cross-unit academic program in which students are trained in interdisciplinary behavior change research and experiment with evidence-based interventions to shift student food consumption behavior on campus.
This project uses Arizona State University (ASU) as a living lab for a long-term interdisciplinary student-led research based intervention program on sustainable food consumption behaviors. While each of these different components by themselves are well-tested (research-based learning, interdisciplinary education, living labs), they have yet to be integrated to create a curriculum that prepares students to intervene in food consumption behaviors on campus. Our approach focuses on interventions in high-impact sustainable food consumption behaviors on campus as an opportunity for convergence research, cross-unit collaboration, and interdisciplinary education.
The course curriculum will be developed using mixed methods (qualitative and quantitative research methods) and address the following research questions: (1) What are the competences that upper undergraduate and graduate students need to have to be able to design, deliver and evaluate effective interventions to change food behaviors? (2) What different building blocks from different disciplines are conducive to building this skillset? (3) How can these building blocks be integrated in an effective curriculum, and offered as part of a broader cross-unit program?
Curriculum development and course design will be informed by a a literature review to better understand what drivers and barriers exist in sustainable food consumption in student populations on campus. Additionally, we will conduct stakeholder / expert interviews in which we will talk with stakeholders intervening on campus about their experiences and their views on what a curriculum should address and prioritize. Following the literature review and interviews, we will synthesize the findings and review them in light of a key competences framework to develop learning objectives. We will then validate the learning objectives and identify disciplinary building blocks through running a Delphi study with on-campus faculty. After validation and modification, we will develop a pilot curriculum, implemented it in a workshop class, and research its effectiveness.