Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Education, Teaching-Learning Processes

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Joseph L. Polman, PhD


Loughrey, Thomas

Hoagland, Carl

Singer, Nancy

Polman, Joseph


In the last few years, there has been a growing problem with the prevalence of being overweight. This is becoming an accepted lifestyle in the African American community, and has begun to impact not just adults, but also adolescents and young children. There are problems associated with being overweight or obese that could have lifetime consequences. Causes of African American adolescents becoming overweight include cultural factors, lack of access to large grocery stores and insufficient outlets for exercise. This action research study investigated the effect a project based approach, utilizing technology, had on students from three 7th and 8th grade Family and Consumer Science classes at an urban Midwestern middle school. Strong engagement and group interactions with nutrition information in the portion of the unit involving web-based lessons and reflections using an online course management system and web-based interactions with other adolescents were documented. Generally there was evidence of creating a stronger knowledge base about nutrition among the adolescents. There was indication that a significant number of students conquered their indifference to the acquisition of the nutrition information, and began to consider lifestyle changes that would improve their chances of a healthy future. A few students made significant behavioral changes to their eating patterns during the course of the study. Study results provide direction for future researchers regarding the use of technology-supported nutrition projects on adolescent learning and behavior.

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