Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


Health education--Middle West; Web-based instruction--Middle West; Health education; Web-based instruction; Middle West; Academic theses;


Introductory wellness courses are common among American institutions of higher education. These courses are typically of a unidimensional approach, focusing on just the physical component of wellness. Some wellness educators would argue that a multidimensional approach is a richer and more valuable learning experience. Furthermore, technology has played a larger role in wellness education, as it is being created, developed, and implemented into the field. Therefore, college wellness educators and curriculum designers need to determine the implications for both online and face-to-face instructional methods in their execution of teaching the holistic concept of wellness to their students.

The purpose of this quasi-experimental intervention study was to compare two teaching and delivery methods and subsequent self-assessment results of undergraduate students in an introductory wellness course at a small, Midwestern four-year college. More specifically, the study aimed to investigate the null statement: There are no differences in the learning responses and progress between online and residential student populations in a multidimensionally structured wellness course.

Of the 153 (112 online, 41 residential) enrolled students in the institution of study's Concepts of Wellness courses in the spring of 2012, 78 (45 online, 33 residential) completed both the pre-test and post-test of a customized wellness survey, which measured students' levels of holistic wellness awareness, knowledge, and potential attitude shift (TestWell Holistic Lifestyle Questionnaire/BMS-WBCI).

This study ultimately rejected the null statement. The study identified differences between the online and residential students that can essentially impact the effectiveness in which multidimensional wellness courses are implemented. Recommendations included encouraging curriculum designers to keep their students' demographic data in mind when creating courses. Course design must also take into consideration both online and residential students' developmental levels, behaviors, attitudes, and need for support. In order to gain information about measuring students' behavior shifts, similar future studies should utilize more questions on teaching and learning methods instead of personality characteristics of the faculty

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Health, Recreation, and Community Services


School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services

First Advisor

Catherine Zeman


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (249 pages)



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