Abstract| Volume 45, ISSUE 4, SUPPLEMENT , S2-S3, July 2013

Experiencing the DGA: A New Approach to Teaching Community Nutrition Educators


      To provide an experiential learning opportunity for Community Nutrition Educators (CNEs), a facilitative ‘flipped classroom’ model was utilized to help CNEs increase their understanding of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) and how it impacts their work.

      Target audience

      Community Nutrition Educators/ paraprofessionals.

      Theory, Prior Research, Rationale

      Branch and Paranjape’s (2002) feedback and reflection based teaching provides a foundation for the development, implementation and evaluation of this effort. The reflection component has its basis in the Social Learning Theory and posits that important cognitive processes must precede behavior changes.


      In an effort to provide an experiential learning opportunity to CNEs, a ‘flipped classroom’ model was utilized to increase their understanding and application of the DGA. Prior to monthly staff meetings CNEs were assigned to read sections of the 2010 DGA Policy Guide and to complete activities. At the meetings, a facilitated discussion of the assigned readings and activities took place and CNEs shared what they had learned and posed questions. To add to the experience, food items related to the assigned readings were served and included as part of the discussion.


      79% agreed or strongly agreed that facilitated discussion increased their knowledge of the DGA and 87% agreed or strongly agreed the readings and discussion were relevant to their work. In addition, 49% of CNEs indicated they would be ‘very interested’ to use facilitative discussions to learn new information in the future.

      Conclusions and Implications

      The ‘flipped classroom’ process enhances CNE understanding and application of new information which increases the likelihood of positive teaching outcomes.


      Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - Education.