Online Program

Innovative teaching approaches for asynchronous online public health courses

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 12:50 p.m. - 1:10 p.m.

Nancy A Nix, MD, MPH&TM, MEd, CHES, Department of Health Sciences, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK
Gabriel James Garcia, PhD, MA, MPH, Department of Health Sciences, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK
Liz Hodges Snyder, PhD, MPH, Department of Health Sciences, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK
Teaching distance-delivered courses encounters different challenges than teaching in an in-person classroom setting. University of Alaska Anchorage is one of the first 100% distance-delivered MPH programs to be fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. Our online MPH Program provides an effective alternative for non-traditional students; most being mid-career professionals, working full-time, and residing in different parts of Alaska, the nation, and the world. Highlighted are a few innovative approaches for teaching online public health courses in an asynchronous format; where instruction and resources can be accessed at any time, usually within a given timeframe. Community engagement and service learning opportunities are provided in some courses to give students firsthand experience working with local agencies and to build and strengthen campus-community partnerships. One environmental health course integrates an approach for students to conduct water and soil testing in their respective communities. The development of other laboratory demonstration methods is in progress. Additionally, several courses incorporate critical reflection components. One course focuses on perspective and empathy exercises to promote reflection and introspective learning. Others have incorporated multi-media and &primecinemeducation&prime for discussions and learning purposes. Based on results and feedback from student evaluations and forums, these approaches have been considered positive learning experiences, which have sometimes developed into practicums, projects, theses, and employment opportunities. With changing technologies, faculty continue to explore effective methods to improve online teaching and learning, develop tools to measure effectiveness and impact of teaching methodologies, and to generate long-term outcome data of impact.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe asynchronous versus synchronous communication formats Discuss multiple teaching approaches that can be used for teaching online public health courses

Keyword(s): Public Health Education, Distance Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a public health professional for over 30 years. I have taught graduate-level public health courses for approximately 5 years. I have also been a First Year Technology Fellow (2008-2009)at the University of Alaska Anchorage; to support distance-delivered education and instructional design.
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.