Examination of An Online Nutrition Curriculum from An Instructional Design Perspective
Concurrent Session 4
This presentation will share the results of examination of the instructional design properties used in 18 interactive nutrition modules. The levels of analysis included pedagogic strategies used in the interactive modules; level of cognition related to the module objectives; six domains of instructional design and interactivity level of the modules.
Upon successful completion of the session, participants will be able to:
- Describe the levels of instructional design analysis and pedagogical strategies used in the interactive online nutrition modules
- Identify the level of cognition related to the module objectives, including six domains of instructional design (content design, assessment items, feedback mechanism, media design, visual design, and navigation); and interactivity level of the modules.
- Discuss the synthesis of design strategies for instructionally and pedagogically sound interactive online modules, including limitations and challenges in the design process
Background: The use of interactive online modules has gained momentum in medical education due to learner demand for more self-directed/independent learning. However, the design and development of these type of modules is a labor-intensive process, and a large-scale project is costly as well. Although the literature offers a variety of models and concepts for development of an online module, there is not a singular recipe that fits for all projects. We used a corporate partnership model, which likely helped to mitigate the most common barriers that hinder nutrition education, i.e. lack of funds to develop compelling and effective educational materials, lack of clinicians with expertise in nutrition, lack of time for curriculum development, and high costs of constructing top quality online materials. In this study, we described a step-by-step approach to evaluate the presence of desirable, intentional, and systematic instructional design properties in an online Pediatric Nutrition Series (PNS) curriculum developed by educators from six academic institutions.
Methods: This descriptive study utilized four unique techniques to examine the instructional design properties and interactivity level of the 18 PNS modules. These techniques included analysis of pedagogic strategies; assessment of cognitive levels of the module objectives; review of the six domains of an instruction design framework (content design, assessment items, feedback mechanism, media design, visual design, and navigation) To evaluate the six instructional design properties, we developed an Instructional Design and Interactivity Scale (IDIS). Content validity evidence for the IDIS items were obtained through expert reviews. The IDIS was first developed as a 72-item Likert-type scale applying a quality value ranking to each item (0.00-Poor; 0.25-Fair; 0.50-Good; 0.75-Very good; 1.00-Excellent). We assigned these points to calculate the instructional design passing scores to the modules. The desire was that each module should score a minimum of 80 points when we converted 72 points into a 100-point scale. The IDIS scale was revised after the pilot implementation when all of the PNS modules were evaluated by two reviewers who are experts in the field. The refined IDIS has 50 items with an updated ranking score totaling a100-point quality score (0.00-Poor; 0.50-Fair; 1.00-Good; 1.50-Very good; 2.00-Excellent). The minimum score was set at 80 points again. We randomized the modules, and six reviewers completed the second-round module evaluation using this refined scale. Both versions of the IDIS included questions regarding the interactivity level that was adapted from the Virtual College’s four levels of interactivity scale. We analyzed the data using descriptive statistics and interclass correlations, and Bloom’s Taxonomy to examine the cognitive levels of the module objectives.
Results: Six unique pedagogic strategies were most frequently used in the PNS interactive modules to support content and convey the message in a multisensory mode in an e-learning environment (1. Problem-Based Learning; 2. Discovery Learning with Gaming; 3. Segmented Content with Graphics; 4. Testing with Teaching; 5. Progressive Disclosure; 6. Categorization and Segmentation of Questions and Answers Session). Out of 66 learning objectives used in the modules, only three were vague/not measurable. A majority of the objectives were grouped under three cognitive levels: knowledge, comprehension, and evaluation. All 18 modules passed the requirements of the six domains using both 72-Item and 50-Item Instructional Design and Interactivity Scales (IDIS). Average scores for overall PNS interactive modules were 1.91 for “content design,” 1.96 for “assessment items,” 1.83 for “feedback mechanism,” 1.78 for “media design,” 1.91 for “visual design,” and 1.84 for “navigation,” where a score of 2.00 indicated quality-ranking value of “Excellent.” All of the modules demonstrated either second or third level interactivity, although there was no absolute agreement between the raters.
Conclusion: Well-designed modules may dramatically improve teaching and learning since interactive technologies can capture learners’ attention and enhance the learning process. From this perspective, the instructional design of the PNS modules was successful and pedagogically appropriate. The instructional design framework demonstrated by these modules has the potential to be a model for other e-learning applications. The IDIS can guide development of effective e-learning applications and be used as a comprehensive scale to evaluate currently available e-learning practices in any field of study.