Reductions in drinking and alcohol-related harms reported by first-year college students taking an online alcohol education course: a randomized trial

J Health Commun. 2010 Oct;15(7):805-19. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2010.514032.


A randomized control trial was conducted at a midsized private university in the Northeast to evaluate the short-term impact of AlcoholEdu for College 8.0, an online alcohol course for first-year students. In September 2007, 1,620 matriculated first-year students were randomly assigned to either a treatment group or an assessment-only control group. Both groups of students completed a baseline survey and knowledge test. Treatment group students finished the course, took a second knowledge test, and 30 days later completed a postintervention survey. Control group students completed the postintervention survey and knowledge test during the same time period. Compared with the control group, treatment group students reported a significantly lower level of alcohol use, fewer negative drinking consequences, and less positive alcohol-related attitudes. AlcoholEdu 8.0 had a positive impact on the first-year students' alcohol-related attitudes, behaviors, and consequences. Additional investigations of online alcohol education courses are warranted.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Alcohol Drinking / prevention & control*
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Computer-Assisted Instruction / methods*
  • Female
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • New England
  • Private Sector
  • Program Evaluation
  • Students / psychology*
  • Students / statistics & numerical data
  • Universities
  • Young Adult