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Computer-based learning for the enhancement of breastfeeding training

LM Du Plessis
D Labadarios
T Singh
A Marais


A great need exists for ongoing breastfeeding training. Students of today relate well to computers in the learning environment. In this study, computer-based learning (CBL) was explored in the context of breastfeeding training for undergraduate Dietetic students.
Aim: To adapt and validate an Indian computer-based undergraduate breastfeeding training module for use by South African undergraduate Dietetic students.
Methods and materials: The Indian module was adapted to suit the South African scenario and converted into low-bandwidth, interactive computer-based material. It was assessed for face and content validity by 19 peer reviewers and 17 third-year Stellenbosch University (SU) Dietetic student reviewers by means of self-administered questionnaires. Impact of the adapted module on knowledge was evaluated on second-year SU (n = 14) and University of the Western Cape (UWC) (n = 15) Dietetic students by means of pre- and post-knowledge tests.
Results: All reviewers rated their information technology (IT) skills as suffi cient and enjoyed the presentation mode of the adapted module. Student reviewers indicated that CBL was a “nice way of learning”, but requested that it should not be used as the sole source of instruction. Fifty three per cent (n = 19) of the reviewers rated CBL to be equally effective compared to conventional lectures, 36% (n = 13) rated it as being more effective and 11% (n = 4) as less effective. Pre- and post-knowledge test scores showed a signifi cant increase (SU p < 0.0001 and UWC p < 0.00115).
Conclusion: It is recommended that validated computer-based breastfeeding training modules be integrated as part of multi-media methods to increase coverage and enhance breastfeeding learning for undergraduate Dietetic students. Other students of health care professions and health care workers may also benefi t from such modules.