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Students' Experience with Web-Based Alcohol Prevention: A Qualitative Evaluation of AlcoholEdu

NCJ Number
Journal of Drug Education Volume: 42 Issue: 2 Dated: 2012 Pages: 137-158
Peter Nygaard, Ph.D.; Mallie J. Paschall, Ph.D.
Date Published
22 pages
This study investigated college students' experiences with AlcoholEdu, a Web-based alcohol prevention program.
AlcoholEdu is a two-part Web-based alcohol prevention program aimed at preventing heavy drinking and alcohol-related problems among incoming college freshman. Through the use of focus groups, investigators interviewed program participants and found four major groups of findings. The four groups of findings covered students' general recollection about the course, issues related to course presentation, issues related to how the course impacted the students, and how course presentation and content related to the students' reality. Regarding general recollection about the course, while participants reported not remembering much of the details from the course, they did have specific memories dealing with facts about alcohol and safety tips. For the most part, participants were very satisfied with the presentation of the course, especially the use of different forms of media to provide course information to the students. In terms of impact, participants reported little impact on their behaviors in situations involving alcohol. Participants did report changes to their attitudes towards drinking with students with less alcohol experience reporting that the course made it more acceptable for them to drink alcohol. The last group of findings was how the course related to students' own experiences and reality. Many students reported that the course was too long and that the information was a repeat of what they had learned in high school, yet at the same time they did learn some valuable information. These findings suggest that the program has enough information that it is valuable in some way for most people, that students prefer information be presented in ways they can relate, and that the information is at times redundant and excessively lengthy. Data for the study were obtained from 9 focus group interviews conducted between November 2009 and October 2010 with 56 freshmen at 3 California campuses. Study limitations are discussed. References