According to the syllabus for this course, I really am getting a basic overview of nutrition science: a week each for the different macronutrient types (lipids, carbs, proteins), vitamins, minerals, metabolism, and body composition. A couple of standout features are that the book is open-source and that you can choose your commitment level.
I’m taking it easy with this course, but I still plan on doing enough work to receive the certificate. I opted for the mid-range “Application” level, which requires that we develop:
- a Human Body Concept Map
- a food record, analyses and reviews
- a 7-day diet plan
Human Body Concept Map (due week 9) – We’re essentially building a mind-map of the course. The major branches are predefined in every week’s key concepts, objectives and guiding questions. We then submit our mind-maps in week 9 (before a submission deadline) and review five mind-maps in week 10 (before an evaluation deadline).
4-Day Food Record and Analysis (due Jan 29) – I have to track my diet for four days and analyse it. Then I publish my analysis and review five other students’ reports. I’m suspicious as to how valuable such a small-scale analysis can be; it may be more of a introductory push by the instructor in hopes of starting a habit.
7-Day Diet Plan (due ???) – The syllabus grading scale for the “Application” level teases about this assignment, but so far I haven’t found any description of the project. I assume we’ll learn more about when the topic comes up.
Overall, the course seems very disorganised. The video lectures and readings don’t seem to answer the guiding questions and, while I already know the benefits of tracking diet over time (if you don’t measure it, how do you know how to change it?), I don’t think the rationale for the assignments so far has been adequately explained, and the textbook was inaccessible due to the large volume of users trying to open it at the same time.
It’s not looking good for the nutritional course; I’ll give it another week and if it doesn’t look like I’m going to learn anything, I’ll drop the course.