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J Nutr Educ Behav. 2011 Mar-Apr;43(2):76-86. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2010.04.001.

The design, implementation, and evaluation of online credit nutrition courses: a systematic review.

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1
Department of Nutrition, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003-9282, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess how postsecondary online nutrition education courses (ONEC) are delivered, determine ONEC effectiveness, identify theoretical models used, and identify future research needs.

DESIGN:

Systematic search of database literature.

SETTING:

Postsecondary education.

PARTICIPANTS:

Nine research articles evaluating postsecondary ONEC.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Knowledge/performance outcomes and student satisfaction, motivation, or perceptions.

ANALYSIS:

Systematic search of 922 articles and review of 9 articles meeting search criteria.

RESULTS:

Little research regarding ONEC marketing/management existed. Studies primarily evaluated introductory courses using email/websites (before 2000), or course management systems (after 2002). None used true experimental designs; just 3 addressed validity or reliability of measures or pilot-tested instruments. Three articles used theoretical models in course design; few used theories to guide evaluations. Four quasi-experimental studies indicated no differences in nutrition knowledge/performance between online and face-to-face learners. Results were inconclusive regarding student satisfaction, motivation, or perceptions.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:

Students can gain knowledge in online as well as in face-to-face nutrition courses, but satisfaction was mixed. More up-to-date investigations on effective practices are warranted, using theories to identify factors that enhance student outcomes, addressing emerging technologies, and documenting ONEC marketing, management, and delivery. Adequate training/support for faculty is needed to improve student experiences and faculty time management.

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PMID:
21392711
DOI:
10.1016/j.jneb.2010.04.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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