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Adv Physiol Educ. 2002 Dec;26(1-4):21-9.

The effectiveness of web-based, multimedia tutorials for teaching methods of human body composition analysis.

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  • 1Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont 05405, USA.


This study examined the effectiveness of a series of Web-based, multimedia tutorials on methods of human body composition analysis. Tutorials were developed around four body composition topics: hydrodensitometry (underwater weighing), dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, bioelectrical impedance analysis, and total body electrical conductivity. Thirty-two students enrolled in the course were randomly assigned to learn the material through either the Web-based tutorials only ("Computer"), a traditional lecture format ("Lecture"), or lectures supplemented with Web-based tutorials ("Both"). All students were administered a validated pretest before randomization and an identical posttest at the completion of the course. The reliability of the test was 0.84. The mean score changes from pretest to posttest were not significantly different among the groups (65.4 plus minus 17.31, 78.82 plus minus 21.50, and 76 plus minus 21.22 for the Computer, Both, and Lecture groups, respectively). Additionally, a Likert-type assessment found equally positive attitudes toward all three formats. The results indicate that Web-based tutorials are as effective as the traditional lecture format for teaching these topics.

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