ADEAR, the Alzheimer's Disease Education & Referral Center, provides current, comprehensive, and unbiased information about Alzheimers Disease (AD) including its causes, treatment, cures, and diagnostic tools. This site is targeted primarily for the consumer although the information is appropriate for students in health care disciplines and healthcare workers. Links to news, research, and caregiving make this site useful as an introduction to the disease. ADEAR is a service of the National Institute on Aging; the web site is available in English and Spanish.
The major learning goals, though not stated are:
- facilitate understanding of the causes, treatments, and prognosis of AD - provide practical advice for working with AD patients and their families - maintain awareness of research findings regarding causes, treatments, and cures
Target Student Population:
The targeted population could be students who are researching for a paper, caregivers who are in need of information, patients, who are looking for clinical trials and the general public who are in need of information. In addition, high school and college students, regardless of health science background, could use this site.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
No prerequisite skills are required, however some understanding of medical terminology might be helpful.
Type of Material:
Reference material primarily in text format.
Use this site to find current, comprehensive Alzheimer's disease (AD) information and resources from the U.S. Government's National Institute on Aging (NIA). Although the information provided on the site is very good for current information about AD, the links from the site to online databases and other web sites are outstanding. This site could be assigned as a starting point for students not only for them to learn more about the disease, but to see the broad range of information topics that are key to understanding the disease.Caregivers are given a link to attend to the needs of this group. Faculty could use the images provided to enhance a lecture.
A 2-minute captioned video requires RealPlayer to view; a link to the free download is provided.
Evaluation and Observation
Information is current and unbiased; because this is part of the NIA, all info has been researched and reviewed for accuracy and integrity, and ease of reading. The variety of resources linked from this site make tailoring its use for teaching easy.The link to the research news is up to date, including an article cited from February,2005.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The sites organization lends itself to preparing students for observing and/or working with AD patients and families. The Home/Family link is particularly rich in practical information about caring for someone with the disease. The short video is very good for helping the learner understand a little of how the brain works.
There is little interactivity or visual stimulation in terms of the user connecting with the content through more than just reading the pages. This certainly doesnt diminish its value, but may not be as effective a learning object as one that provides more visual and kinesthetic activity.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Information will be given in an alternative format for users with web accessibility needs upon request. The video explaining the progression of AD includes audio and text captions should give no problems unless the learner is using a dial-up connection.
Users with a dial-up connection may have difficulty with the video.