Vol. 3 No. 1    ISSN 1540-580X 

Online Learning in Nutrition and Dietetics: Student Performance and Attitudes

Dominic Upton, PhD
University of Wales Institute
Cardiff, School Of Health and Social Sciences

Upton, D. Online learning in nutrition and dietetics: Student performance and attitudes
. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. January 2005. Volume 3 Number 1.

Behavioural studies can form an essential component of the Nutrition and Dietetics undergraduate degree. Aims: This study aimed to firstly produce on-line teaching material in Behavioural studies suitable for undergraduate Nutrition and Dietetic students. Secondly, to explore students’ views on the online material, and record their performance when taught through this innovative method. Methods: Nutrition and Dietetics students completed an online health psychology/sociology module and their performance compared to students who completed a traditional lecture based course. Student evaluations of the online course were also recorded. Findings: Results suggested that students taught through on-line medium performed no differently to those taught through “traditional lectures”. Students appeared to enjoy the material although there was some reluctance to develop an independent learning style. Conclusion: It was apparent that material has to be developed that can both engage and motivate learners, thereby further developing independent learning, and that this may have to be tailored dependent on a number of student factors. 

Acknowledgement: The author wishes to thank UWIC’s Learning and Teaching Support Unit, LTSN-psychology, and LTSN-Health Science and Practice for financial assistance in developing the on-line learning material.

Keywords and terms: e-learning, online learning, digital education, interactivity, nutrition and dietetic education, independent learning

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