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Shaalan, K., M. Al-Mansoori, and H. Tawfik, "An awareness-raising E-learning approach for children living in a high diabetic population", Informatics for Health and Social Care, vol. 39, no. 2, pp. 81-103, 2014. Abstractawareness-raising_e-learning.pdfWebsite

Recent epidemiological studies have shown an increased incidence of diabetes worldwide. In United Arab Emirates (UAE), where this study on Emirati children was conducted, over 20% of the population has diabetes. With such a high incidence, there is a need to raise the awareness of the disease in order to reduce the growing number of cases and manage the disease more effectively. This research aims to identify the needs of affected children and proposes a design for an E-learning prototype that can pedagogically raise their awareness and knowledge of the disease. The use of a prototype was chosen in order to validate and refine the usability of the system, and to quickly evaluate user-interface designs without the need for an expensive working model to help refine and develop the system design. The system requirements were identified through a set of interviews with kindergarten teachers, curriculum design experts in UAE, and diabetes nutrition specialists and clinicians. The rationale behind the interview was to identify the optimal age group, describe the appropriate level of the instructional materials and activities, and propose a suitable learning approach that could facilitate and improve diabetes awareness among this age group. The prototype was evaluated by children, teachers, parents (or guardians) and nutrition specialists. We followed a three-stage software development based on a user-informed approach model for stepwise refinement that ranged from prototype to final design. The evaluation results indicate that the proposed computer-supported learning approach can generate positive learning and behavior in children while reducing the time needed to complete awareness tasks when compared to traditional methods; thus making learning more engaging and allowing children to learn at their own pace.