Title

POOR POURS! ASSESSING AND IMPROVING STUDENT’S KNOWLEDGE OF STANDARD DRINK SIZES

Introduction

Most students are unable to correctly state or identify a standard drink. Training students to accurately state a standard drink size is a common lesson plan and goal of college alcohol education classes. However, training students to demonstrate this skill (e.g., by pouring actual liquid into various cup sizes) is far less common although it is often the underlying goal of such classes. Given that this is an important goal, methods for gathering data regarding the effectiveness of teaching this goal are needed.

Purpose

Our goals in this study were threefold: (1) Assess students' stated knowledge of standard drink sizes by assessing their abilities to pour accurate standard sized drinks; (2) assess students’ ability to accurately identify and pour standard sized drinks into a variety of cups at Pre, Post, and 30 days following a mandatory alcohol training class; and, (3) assess whether aggregating the data obscures important information and if so, what additional information is gained by other methods of analyzing the data.

Method

Participants in our study were 34 undergraduate students mandated to attend a Level I alcohol-education course because they violated University alcohol policies over the course of one academic year. The first goal was addressed by having students free-pour water into several different sized glasses/cups (e.g., 10oz, 16oz, 18oz, 20oz, and the ubiquitous 16oz “red cup”). For each assessment session, each student was assessed individually and no student was able to view another student’s pours. The day prior to attending the mandatory education course, they were instructed to pour a standard serving of alcohol for each of three types of alcohol: beer, wine, and liquor. Immediately upon completing the mandatory education course, which included a segment on accurate pour sizes, students were again asked to pour what they believed was a standard serving for each of the three types of alcohol. Finally, students were required to return approximately 30 days after the completion of the education course to complete this exercise one last time, using a generalization cup (i.e., a different sized cup from the education course to assess if any knowledge gained “generalized” to other vesicles).

Results

Data were initially graphed in bar graph format, similar to previous research (e.g., White et al., 2005; White et al., 2003), with bars indicative of the group means and “whiskers” indicating standard deviations. Graphing the data in this manner led us to initially conclude that students had a fair ability to pour standard drinks prior to taking the class – with some overpouring, and some improvement in their abilities upon completing the class. However, when we graphed each data point separately (i.e., each data point represented a single student, and all data points were aligned vertically with the y-axis so that each student’s specific pour in oz was observable), a different picture emerged. It was apparent that few, if any, students were able to accurately pour a standard drink, and instead students tended to either over or under pour, sometimes significantly.

Significance

Based on the results of the current study, we plan to develop a component for the alcohol education course that explicitly teaches students the skill of pouring accurate drink sizes and we plan to continue to explore novel and effective ways of depicting and examining the data so that we can more accurately identify whether our interventions are effective (i.e., reliably teach students to accurately pour a standard drink) and valid (i.e., actually teach students these skills rather than masking the absence of this skill in aggregated data).

Location

DeRosa University Center, Stockton campus, University of the Pacific

Format

Poster Presentation

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Mar 25th, 10:00 AM Mar 25th, 3:00 PM

POOR POURS! ASSESSING AND IMPROVING STUDENT’S KNOWLEDGE OF STANDARD DRINK SIZES

DeRosa University Center, Stockton campus, University of the Pacific

Most students are unable to correctly state or identify a standard drink. Training students to accurately state a standard drink size is a common lesson plan and goal of college alcohol education classes. However, training students to demonstrate this skill (e.g., by pouring actual liquid into various cup sizes) is far less common although it is often the underlying goal of such classes. Given that this is an important goal, methods for gathering data regarding the effectiveness of teaching this goal are needed.