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The Design and Evaluation of Online Interactive Learning in an Undergraduate Nutrition Course

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Understanding factors that promote student engagement with online learning environments is important for benchmarking and improving the quality of teaching in a digital era. This study aimed to describe the online interactive content created for delivery of an undergraduate nutrition course and to evaluate student engagement with the online interactive content. We collected online questionnaire data in 2018 and 2019 from two cohorts of students enrolled in a Deakin University undergraduate nutrition unit. Two-sample unpaired t-tests were used to examine differences in participant engagement with online topic guides between static text-based and interactive content. A total of 89 participants (19–56 years) were included. Sixty four of students reported always/usually reading static text-based topic guides most weeks and 64% perceived them as moderately/highly effective. While 60% of participants reported reading the online interactive topic guides most weeks and 93% perceived them as moderate/highly effective. Most participants indicated the interactive topic guides were more effective than static text-based topic guides they experienced in other courses (76%). Hours dedicated to the online interactive topic guide were higher (6.4 SD 2.9 vs. 1.7 SD 1.7 h; P < 0.001) as was the rating of how engaging the topic guides were (7.2 SD 1.6 vs. 6.7 SD 2.5; P = 0.008). These findings suggest that interactive content is more engaging. However, this content may not be accessible to all students, and so familiarization and training prior to engaging in an interactive online unit may be needed.



Frontiers in Nutrition



Article number

ARTN 811103


1 - 7




Lausanne, Switzerland







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal