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To evaluate the effectiveness of an interactive athletic training educational curriculum (IATEC) computer program as compared with traditional lecture instruction. Instructions on assessment of the quadriceps angle (Q-angle) were compared. Dependent measures consisted of cognitive knowledge, practical skill assessment, and attitudes toward the 2 methods of instruction.
Sixty-six subjects were selected and then randomly assigned to 3 different groups: traditional lecture, IATEC, and control. The traditional lecture group (n = 22) received a 50-minute lecture/demonstration covering the same instructional content as the Q-angle module of the IATEC program. The IATEC group (n = 20; 2 subjects were dropped from this group due to scheduling conflicts) worked independently for 50 to 65 minutes using the Q-angle module of the IATEC program. The control group (n = 22) received no instruction.
Subjects were recruited from an undergraduate athletic training education program and were screened for prior knowledge of the Q-angle.
A 9-point multiple choice examination was used to determine cognitive knowledge of the Q-angle. A 12-point yes-no checklist was used to determine whether or not the subjects were able to correctly measure the Q-angle. The Allen Attitude Toward Computer-Assisted Instruction Semantic Differential Survey was used to assess student attitudes toward the 2 methods of instruction. The survey examined overall attitudes, in addition to 3 subscales: comfort, creativity, and function. The survey was scored from 1 to 7, with 7 being the most favorable and 1 being the least favorable.
Results of a 1-way ANOVA on cognitive knowledge of the Q-angle revealed that the traditional lecture and IATEC groups performed significantly better than the control group, and the traditional lecture group performed significantly better than the IATEC group. Results of a 1-way ANOVA on practical skill performance revealed that the traditional lecture and IATEC groups performed significantly better than the control group, but there were no significant differences between the traditional lecture and IATEC groups on practical skill performance. Results of a t test indicated significantly more favorable attitudes (P < .05) for the traditional lecture group when compared with the IATEC group for comfort, creativity, and function.
Our results suggest that use of the IATEC computer module is an effective means of instruction; however, use of the IATEC program alone may not be sufficient for educating students in cognitive knowledge. Further research is needed to determine the effectiveness of the IATEC computer program as a supplement to traditional lecture instruction in athletic training education.