This multimedia patient education tutorial, developed by Medline Plus, describes HIV infection, how HIV becomes AIDS, risk factors for infection, screening, prevention, symptoms, and treatment.
Type of Material:
This learning resource is classified as a tutorial in slide presentation format. The material presented is reinforced by simple true/false questions which are followed by an explanation of the correct answer.
This tutorial is recommended for the general public, patients, their family and friends, and their caregivers to use as an introduction to understanding the disease. It can also be used to educate junior high school students on risk factors for HIV infection and preventive measures.
Technical requirements include a computer with an Internet connection, and a web browser such as Firefox, MS Explorer, or Google Chrome. Adobe flash plugin 8 or higher is required.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The learning goals are not explicitly stated. The learning object is an informational resource for patients and their family and caregivers, rather than an educational resource for students. Nevertheless, explicitly stating what the learning objectives in the Introduction would inform the learner what to expect. For example: After using the tutorial, learners will be able to:
• State how HIV infection occurs;
• Describe the relationship between HIV infection and AIDS;
• Identify risk factors for HIV infection;
• Describe preventive measures against HIV infection;
• Describe screening tests and patient confidentiality measures;
• Recognize symptoms of AIDS;
• Discuss available treatment options.
Target Student Population:
Learners from grade 6 through adulthood may find this tool useful.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
A sixth grade reading level is the only prerequisite for use.
The tutorial covers important aspects of HIV infection and AIDS in a very basic format. Content is an overview, taken from credible resources, and accessible.
Under additional information, the target audience is described as professionals or graduate students. This is inappropriate because the level is suitable for lay persons. The information slides are intersperse3d with true/false questions to reinforce the material.
True/false questions with the comments are most suitable for patients and their family who most likely will be stressed while reviewing this tutorial. On the other hand, it could be a good tutorial to cover risk factors and prevention at the junior high school level. For this later audience, addition of higher order questions in the multiple-choice format would be beneficial.
The content needs to be periodically updated as additional treatment or diagnostic procedures become available.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Lay people with an interest in learning about HIV infection, the risks and preventive measures available, and possible diagnostic tests and outcomes expectations will receive a thorough overview using clear explanations and simple concepts.
The tutorial's effectiveness as means to teach about risk factors and prevention, as well as outcomes and treatment options could be increased by adding links to external resources.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Both visual and auditory styles of learning are accommodated. The voice-over is clear and appropriately timed. The question slides are easy to use.
Slow internet connections and lack of a properly functioning sound card may make the viewing of this tutorial onerous for some. In addition, there is some flashing on the screen when signalling to go to the next slide occurs.
The requirement for manual advancement and the lag period between appearance of a new slide and the ability to proceed is cumbersome. Not everyone reads at the same speed, and thus slides should be able to advance earlier - no lag until forward arrow is active. An auto-forward feature with adjustable time between slides would also improve the users' experience. Auto-forward can be inactivated for the self-test slides.
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