A program evaluation of the student-developed “Before One More” campaign shows it is raising awareness and changing attitudes. The NDSU Office of Orientation and Student Success evaluated the campaign, which focuses on reducing harm from risky drinking behavior
“Before One More” promotions seen around campus are intended to draw students to the website at www.ndsu.edu/alcoholinfo/students/before_one_more to learn about reducing the risks and negative consequences related to over consumption, explore the effects of blood alcohol content and expand their knowledge of alcohol in general.
The evaluation found student reactions to the website were positive, overall. They found the facts on drinking, blood alcohol content effects and the interactive blood alcohol content calculator appealing. The majority found new information on the site. The evaluation also showed moderate drinkers scored significantly higher in retaining the knowledge from the site. Students who visited the website exhibited more knowledge of campaign-related information than students who did not; however, retention was not affected by how much time visitors spent on the website.
Students who thoroughly explored the campaign website were more prone to have a conversation with other people about the campaign and about their own drinking. They also were more confident in understanding the effects of alcohol, making informed choices about alcohol and being able to recognize and avoid risky situations.
The level of alcohol that students consume was also a factor in the degree that the site affected awareness, attitudes and behaviors. Moderate and light drinkers were more prone to think about the choices they make about drinking and about changing the amount or way they drink. Light drinkers and abstainers were also more prone to avoid risky behaviors and situations, maintain a safe blood alcohol content and change the way or amount they drank.
Student feedback and statistical analysis showed the campaign could make improvements to increase effectiveness. Despite a variety of promotional materials, only a few proved effective in drawing students to the site. Both the appeal of and level of exposure to the promotional materials proved important. More than 60 percent of students who did not visit the website said they didn’t know about the campaign. Respondents suggested improving the visual appeal of the website and increasing interactive components.
“The site is preventative in nature, and increasing awareness of risky behaviors for low-level drinkers encourages them to examine their own behaviors and helps prevent them from engaging in high-risk behaviors in the future,” said Erika Beseler Thompson, assistant director for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention. “As with any education-based program, we don’t expect to see immediate changes in behaviors, but rather a gradual process of change that comes with increased awareness and understanding of the risks.”
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