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