As part of AIB International’s extensive renovation of the Baking Science and Technology (BS&T) course, the Cookie and Cracker module has been updated with new content, vibrant instruction methods and interactive learning features. The renovated module will be launched in December, marking a major milestone in a multiyear project to restructure the entire course with updated content and new learning and assessment components.

“One of the focuses for the Cookie and Cracker module has been on including more integrated classroom and application learning,” says Susan Hancock, vice president, learning and communications, for the Manhattan, KS-based association. “We have included a number of team projects which allow participants to explore and apply the knowledge and skills they gain in the course.”

A team of industry experts including curriculum designers, subject matter experts, technical writers, graphic designers and instructional designers were assembled to redesign the BS&T course content and instruction methods in response to changing industry needs. “As the industry itself changes and evolves, the BS&T course will be updated to address the needs created by those changes,” says Hancock.

To better serve participants’ existing skill sets and meet demand for more application-based instruction, the majority of the course has shifted from the classroom to the laboratory. Approximately 30 percent of the Cookie and Cracker module is spent in the classroom with the remaining 70 percent focusing on application-oriented activities in the baking laboratories.

“In response to current market and industry trends, we redesigned segments of the course to focus more heavily on troubleshooting and problem solving,” says Brian Strouts, vice president, baking and food technical services. “The participants are using multiple mixing methods and learning more about product testing and sensory evaluation. These renovated methods of instruction are more useful and informative for learners.”

Last fall, a series of skill self-assessments were put in place to assist participants and instructors in determining the participants’ initial skill levels and progress throughout the course. “The skill assessments are critical to understanding the beginning level of the participants’ skills and what information they gain during the course for thoroughly evaluating the updated instruction methods,” Strouts explains.

The next phase of the course renovation will include creating online components, including e-learning prerequisites to ensure that all participants will have the foundational skills and knowledge needed before starting the course. “These prerequisites will provide participants with the foundational knowledge they will need to excel in the course,” says Strouts. “This is a tremendous opportunity for each participant to come to the course fully prepared to engage in the application-based activities and participate in the classroom.”

For more information about AIB International, visit or call 800-633-5137.