You are here:

Dietetic professionals' perceptions of the learning environment, perceived learning, and actual learning of online and face-to-face journal clubs

, Illinois State University, United States

Illinois State University . Awarded


A journal club is defined as a group of individuals who meet regularly to discuss current trends in literature and have been advocated to bridge the gap of research and practice. With the popularity of the Internet, there are a variety of tools available for online learning through journal clubs including asynchronous discussions, which the Commission on Dietetics Education does not offer. The purpose of this study was to analyze the perceptions of the learning environment, the perceived learning, and the actual learning of dietetic professionals participating in online journal clubs, as compared to dietetic professionals participating in face-to-face clubs. A convenience sample of dietetic professionals currently members of face-to-face journal clubs was recruited to participate in this study and randomly place in an online or face-to-face environment. A survey instrument was developed to gather descriptive and qualitative data. Of the participants surveyed, 13 (32.5%) participated in the online environment while 27 (67.5%) participated face-to-face. Mean scores were calculated from survey questions that related to independent variables on a 6-point Likert scale (1-strongly agree, 6-strongly disagree), and the Mann-Whitney U test analyzed the differences of the mean scores with significance set at p < .05. There was a statistically significant difference with perceptions of the environment in terms of logistics regarding timing for the face-to-face (1.75) and online (2.33) groups. Also significant for the face-to-face (1.54) and online (2.64) groups were opportunities for critical appraisal. The perceptions of learning through discussion were significant with mean scores of 2.22 for the face-to-face and 2.96 for the online group. For all groups, no statistically significant difference was found between mean scores for the content knowledge questions. Both face-to-face and online environments appear to provide opportunities for critical appraisal of research and foster learning for dietetic professionals. Open-ended questions in the survey provided data to assist in developing preferred journal club structure, environment, and quality. Though online tools may not be the preferred choice for all dietetic professionals, they do offer flexibility and foster learning.


Schumacher, J.R. Dietetic professionals' perceptions of the learning environment, perceived learning, and actual learning of online and face-to-face journal clubs. Ph.D. thesis, Illinois State University. Retrieved February 17, 2019 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

Citation reproduced with permission of ProQuest LLC.

For copies of dissertations and theses: (800) 521-0600/(734) 761-4700 or