206545 Designing blended learning environments for the public health workforce

Monday, November 9, 2009: 4:45 PM

Thomas Chandler, PhD , National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY
Stephen S. Morse, PhD , Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University, New York, NY
Yoon Soo Park, MS , National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY
This paper describes the design and evaluation of a blended online / face-to-face basic emergency preparedness course for public health workers, developed by Columbia University's National Center for Disaster Preparedness. Since the initial prototype course was launched in 2005, more than 6,500 participants from all 50 states have

enrolled. The educational impact has been monitored using a variety of evaluation strategies. The results, in terms of achieved knowledge and overall satisfaction, indicate that a focus on online instruction combined with face to face activities has added considerable value, especially due to the emphasis on competency based tasks which participants needed to demonstrate at their place of employment. A key

aspect of the course design has been the provision of a blended environment, enabling learners to obtain the benefits of online training, along with the advantages of face-to-face training environments. Similarly, this blended approach has enabled public health agency supervisors to more easily evaluate their own staff. As an example, course protocols were developed so that supervisors could approve and "release" certificates of completion automatically via

email. The authors assert that the inclusion of such features has added value by providing local agencies with more control in implementing their own agency-wide training efforts.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss two benefits of distance based learning for competency based learning List two challenges to use of distance based learning for competency based training Describe a methodology for evaluating the effectiveness of a distance based training program

Keywords: Community Health Programs, Communication Technology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: - published research regarding public health - coordinated public health activities
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.