US Department of Agriculture (USDA) – Florida International University (FIU)

usda_fiu_success story

Objective

A study was conducted through Florida International University that required an interactive multimedia program to educate pregnant women and female caregivers on food safety, including proper food preparation and storage. The interactive multimedia program would be compared to more traditional informational pamphlets to determine the effectiveness of interactive multimedia.

Funded through a grant from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Web Courseworks was tasked with creating the interactive multimedia program that would teach low-income women from diverse backgrounds the basic food safety techniques.

Solution

Web Courseworks developed the interactive multimedia food safety program that was used in the study. Women were randomly assigned to complete the interactive multimedia food safety education program or receive traditional food safety pamphlets.

The food safety program was deployed using kiosks in Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) clinics. Its highly-interactive content allowed learners to actively try the concepts they were being taught. For example, in one interactivity, the learner was presented with a realistic scenario: She is out to lunch with a friend at a restaurant, and must decide what to order from a menu. Several menu options are presented, and the learner is able to ask questions about each regarding their preparation and potential safety issues. Based on the answers she receives, she must decide which foods are safest to eat. Depending on her decision, she will receive either positive reinforcement or remediation.

Compliance with Section 508 Amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was a major consideration. Web Courseworks was able to maintain compliance using a variety of techniques that would allow users with disabilities access to the information contained in the course.

Results

Web Courseworks developed a highly-interactive environment that includes videos, animated examples, and realistic situations learners are able to try for themselves. The effectiveness of using interactive media versus traditional print was proven. The study concluded, “The interactive multimedia was well-accepted and resulted in improved self-reported food safety practices, suggesting that interactive multimedia is an effective option for food safety education in WIC clinics.

 

 

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