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International Journal of Information Technology & Computer Science ( IJITCS )

Abstract :

Obesity awareness was defined as mental activities to check, track and evaluate own eating behaviors (Monitoring Awareness) and promises or commitments made to the self to stay healthy (Mental Preparation). The purpose of this study was to design and develop an interactive multimedia courseware (DIGITAL PERSUADER) following the prescriptions of persuasive technology and investigate its appeal and effectiveness in raising obesity awareness among college students of different gender and race.. The study employed the pretest-posttest evaluation design as part of the formative evaluation stage in courseware development. The independent variable was the persuasive elements of DIGITAL PERSUADER courseware while the dependent variables were monitoring awareness, mental preparation, and motivation. The moderator variables were gender and race. Sixty college students participated in the study. Instruments used were the obesity awareness questionnaire adapted from (Mathur, 2007) and the Keller’ IMMS questionnaire. The post-test awareness data was analyzed using ANCOVA while the pretest and motivation data were analyzed using one-way ANOVA. A pretest was conducted and it was found that female respondents reported significantly higher scores than male respondents for Monitoring Awareness but there was no significant difference in Mental Preparation between them. Malay and Chinese respondents reported significantly lower awareness levels for Monitoring and Mental Preparation scores compared to Indian respondents. The formal study found that the DIGITAL PERSUADER courseware was equally effective in increasing monitoring awareness towards obesity among male and female respondents. This finding suggested that DIGITAL PERSUADER courseware was equally effective in increasing monitoring awareness towards obesity but was ineffective in increasing mental preparation towards obesity among the respondents by race, meaning that the respondents reported that they would monitor their eating behaviors but would not seriously commit themselves to other physical behaviors or activities to stay healthy. Female respondents were significantly more receptive to the DIGITAL PERSUADER courseware than the male respondents and reported that the contents were significantly more relevant. There were no significant differences for attention, relevance, confidence and satisfaction by race

Keywords :

Persuasive technology, obesity awareness, gender, race

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