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