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What online courses are right for you and your staff?

Written ByLesley DyckLesley Dyck | June 03, 2013
Lesley Dyck

Lesley Dyck, BA, MA

Knowledge Translation Specialist

Lesley is a health promotion professional with 12 years of public health experience in British Columbia focused on organizational capacity building for health equity and population health, tobacco reduction and injury prevention. Prior to working in public health she had a diverse career in the NGO sector across Canada in the areas of communication, women’s health, community development, and recreation. Lesley earned her BA in Mass Communication at Carleton University and her MA in Health Promotion at the University of British Columbia.

ldyck@stfx.ca

E-learning is an excellent way for public health practitioners to access skills and training to strengthen their practice in the area of social determinants of health and health equity. To help managers and practitioners in the field find the right courses for their professional development, we conducted a scan for online courses, in English and French, that were designed to increase participants’ knowledge and skills in working towards health equity through the social determinants.  We also completed a brief assessment of each course for quality and relevance, resulting in 12 recommended courses. Curious about methods? Read on! 

How did we define an “online learning course”?

In order to be considered an online learning course, the resource had to include exercises and feedback, either in electronic form or with a facilitator … or both.  We did not include webinars, power point presentations or multimedia materials that lacked a feedback component.  Courses also had to be available through a one-off registration process, without the need for academic program registration.

What kinds of courses did we scan for?

We scanned for courses in English and French that dealt substantially with one of our health equity search terms.  Course length was not a criterion: some courses took 30 minutes to complete, while others took several months. We looked for courses designed to change attitudes, and build knowledge, behaviours and skills.

How did we assess the courses?

We assessed the courses using a set of best practices for online learning. We kept a close eye out for the relevance of the course in the context of Canadian public health practitioners and managers.  Please contact us if you would like more detail about the scanning and assessment process, which is contained in the project report.

For more information…

To see recommended courses, click here.

To learn more about this work, or to tell us about other online courses relevant to the social determinants of health, health equity, and public health, please contact Lesley Dyck, Knowledge Translation Specialist.

Tags

Key concepts, Knowledge translation

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