Meet Online Instructor Angela Poch of the Vegan Vegetarian Cooking School

Udemy is proud to introduce its newest series of interviews with online instructors. Today we have Angela Poch.  Ms. Poch teaches The Online Vegan Vegetarian Cooking School on Udemy and can also be found on her website.  In this interview, Ms. Poch discusses teaching a cooking course online and her motivation behind her course.

1. Can you tell us a little about your background and why you created The Online Vegan Vegetarian Cooking School course on Udemy?

Having been a housewife and cook for over 18 years with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, I researched healthful eating and living to help my with my own health issues. This research led me to become a lacto-ovo vegetarian and finally a strict vegetarian for over 10 years due to the medical literature I saw showing the benefits of such a lifestyle combined with exercise. (Recently we started to include eggs because of a more restricted diet due to food allergies.) This lifestyle change combined with a desire to help others live happier, healthier lives drove me to hold health luncheons in my home each week, and finally with much prompting from friends, I wrote a series of seven vegan/vegetarian cookbooks. Then I realized I needed to learn more about nutrition from a vegetarian perspective, so I completed the Nutritional Counseling program from the Total Health School of Nutrition in Calgary AB.

The health luncheons expanded into cooking seminars across BC and the Northern USA, but with travel costing so much I knew there just must be a better way to reach more people.  So we started a cooking school that used video and lesson books.  The Vegetarian Cooking School has been open since 2008 and we had many request to get it online, thus when Udemy started up we knew this was a God send!  Now students from all over the world can learn how to cook vegetarian in their own home.

2. What do you most enjoy about teaching online?

That I can reach so many people from all over the world is the real blessing of teaching online.  I love the flexible hours and ability to use so many different methods of teaching.  Video, written word, audio, photos, and other interaction.  I’ve always been a better writer than speaker and this method of teaching works very well for me.  Of course loving video production has allowed me to get the information onto DVD/video so students can see each step in the process.

3. What trends do you see in the online education space (or online cooking space more specifically)?

I think we will see more people using online education because travel and time are so limited.  I think more interaction of students and teachers will also be a trend as more students sign up.

4. What tools would you like to see in online education to help improve the experience for instructors and students?

A virtual classroom would be a great asset where video conference can be employed with the students for live seminars or question/answer periods.

5. What are your long-term goals?

My long term goal is to have several courses in vegetarian cooking that caters to specialized diets.  Gluten free, wheat free, soy free, sugar free, and so on.  There are so many out there with special needs and I want to reach them all.  I may not be able to, but I will attempt to give everyone delicious recipes they can use on any restricted diet.  I’d love to start a forum for students to share how they are doing as well.