Nutrition, Science and Health

Common Course ID: Nutrition, Science and Health (NTR 3050)
CSU Instructor Open Textbook Adoption Portrait

About the Course

Course Title:  Nutrition, Science and Health NTR 3050

Brief Description Integrative approach to nutrition, health, and fitness based on physiological and biochemical principles. Role of diet and other influences in promoting wellness and preventing degenerative diseases. Nutritional self-assessment project/ weekly assignments/ current controversies, submitted online typed discussions/assignments. Course fulfills GE Synthesis B5.

Required Coursework and Background  Completion of GE Area A and Area B (B1, B2, B3, and B4) before enrolling in the upper division B5 course.  

Expected Outcomes Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Critically discuss the role of nutrition in health and disease.
  2. Describe and diagram the processes of digestion, absorption, metabolism and excretion and factors affecting these processes.
  3. Identify the macro- and micro- nutrients and discuss their role in health and disease.
  4. Discuss functions of vitamins and minerals and their role in health and disease
  5. Apply nutrition standards and guidelines to select a healthy diet.
  6. Define nutrient density and apply this concept to food selection
  7. Describe the concept of energy balance and weight control
  8. Discuss the impact of physical activity on nutrient utilization and requirements
  9. Describe ways in which food borne microorganism can cause illness in the body.
  10. Define cross-contamination and explain how to prevent it.
  11. Apply nutritional knowledge obtained from this course to distinguish valid nutrition information from misinformation.

The course, Nutrition, Science and Health, meets the requirements of Sub Area B-5 Science and Technology Syntheses. NTR 3050 deals with the relationship among nutrition, physical activity and health. The course also reinforces the student's background in utilizing the scientific method, critical thinking, particularly as it relates to being good health consumers and taking responsibility for one's personal health. In addition, students learn how to evaluate health-related products and services. This class integrates knowledge for a variety of basic sciences, such as chemistry, biology, and physiology, and the applied sciences including nutrition, food sciences, toxicology, pharmacology, sociology, and exercise science.

Student population:  Students enrolled in the course are primarily sophomores, juniors, and seniors, with some freshmen.  This class is housed in the Nutrition and Food Science Department in the College of Agriculture. It targets non-nutrition majors. A good percentage of students aim to be in health-related fields or take this course to learn more about living a healthier lifestyle. The students come from all colleges across campus.  Completion of GE Area A and Area B (B1, B2, B3, and B4) before enrolling in the upper division B5 course. The course is asynchronous, online.

Key challenges faced and how resolved: Few barriers have been encountered using OERs. Some minor challenges include updated course mapping, modification of weekly lectures, not having access to text-supported supplementary materials (quizzes, PowerPoints, activities, for example), and monitoring OER access links.   Finally, it can be challenging to identify OERs for some courses.

About the Resource/Textbook 

Student access:  Downloaded PDFs and direct weblink on learning management course platform.

The text adoption is affordable. However, it is only available through the web and PDF which might not accessible for all learners. 

Cost Savings: It is estimated that students save about $90-140. The diet analysis software is $40 and the text ranges from $50-100.

OER/Low Cost Adoption

OER/Low Cost Adoption Process

Provide an explanation or what motivated you to use this textbook or OER/Low Cost option. The two main factors in wanting to change the text are affordability and customization of the course. I try to create an equitable classroom and by requiring low to no cost course items. Using OERs supports the CSU Affordable Learning Initiative. Having OERs also allows me to add content specific to the course learning outcomes and remove outdated, unnecessary, or unrelated content.

How did you find and select the open textbook for this course?   Online search via MERLOT, OER Commons and COOLforEd. Cal Poly Pomona’s bookstore management and campus library were also helpful in helping me identify potential OERs.

What did you change as part of the OER adoption?  Textbook and nutrition analysis software

Teaching and Learning Impact and Student Feedback or Participation  I have been using the text since 2017 and the nutrition software since the fall of 2019. The nutrition software substitution worked well and was more accessible for students to use. In terms of mean grades for the course, student outcomes did not show a significant difference in performance either way. Since 2017 mean student evaluation scores have improved. However, it is not clear how and if the OER affected results.  

See Student Evaluation Summary Table Fall 2017-Fall 2020:


Sharing Best Practices:  I began my search on MERLOT, OER Commons and COOLforEd. At the time there were only two options available and I selected the one that was most similar to the original text. I also had to prepare a report for my department in order to request a textbook change.

About the Instructor

Jasmin Ilkay, MBA, MPH, RDN

Cal Poly Pomona, California