Online Program

Are online learning resources effective to build capacity for evidence-informed decision making?

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 8:50 a.m. - 9:10 a.m.

Maureen Dobbins, RN, PhD, McMaster University, National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Katie Tulloch, MPH, McMaster University, National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Pamela Forsyth, MHSc, RD, McMaster University, National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Public health professionals are expected to consider the best available research evidence when making practice, program and policy decisions.  However, they encounter challenges such as time restraints, limited resources and skills to find, appraise, interpret and apply evidence.

This project developed, implemented and evaluated the usage, change in learning outcomes, and functionality of online learning resources developed to support evidence-informed decision making (EIDM).

The National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools (NCCMT) worked with online learning specialists to create the Learning Centre. The Learning Centre offers multiple online learning resources for which the content, practical examples and assessments have been collaboratively developed by McMaster faculty and NCCMT. Quantitative and qualitative evaluation data are continuously collected before and after use of the online learning resources.

Evaluation data from June, 2012, when the Learning Centre was launched, to September, 2015, will be presented.  Currently, the resources in the Learning Centre are being used by public health professionals in various roles and positions within Canada and worldwide. Quantitative data demonstrate statistically significant increases in knowledge and self-efficacy for EIDM following use of the resources. Quantitative and qualitative data indicate learners are satisfied with the online format; users return to the resources multiple times, suggesting users value the resources as references to support ongoing EIDM capacity.

Evaluation of this project indicates that the resources offered in NCCMT’s Learning Centre, are innovative, accessible and are effective in supporting EIDM capacity development among public health professionals.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate awareness of the functionality, usage, and learning outcomes for the online learning resources offered in National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tool’s Learning Centre. Explain how the free resources offered in the Learning Centre can support ongoing professional workforce development among public health staff.

Keyword(s): Professional Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Maureen Dobbins, RN PhD, is the Scientific Director of the National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools (NCCMT). As a professor in the School of Nursing at McMaster University, her research focuses on knowledge translation (KT) among public health decision makers in Canada, including identified needs, barriers and facilitators affecting evidence use, and effective KT strategies. In addition to her role with NCCMT, she is also the Scientific Director of Health Evidence (
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.