AN E-LEARNING COURSE AS A TRAINING STRATEGY DURING THE INFLUENZA A(H1N1) EMERGENCY: A MEXICAN EXPERIENCE
National Institute of Public Health (MEXICO)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN10 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Page: 5608 (abstract only)
Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:E-learning models are increasingly being used for distance learning programs at institutions of higher education around the world, specifically schools of public health, in order to train workers who live in geographically diverse locations and have varying levels of education. Disparities in access to information and computer technologies pose challenges for the success of these programs, especially in developing countries. Despite these challenges, online training programs are important in Mexico and across Latin America due to high health services demands, high training costs, and the need to provide timely training opportunities for working professionals. This presentation provides a case study of the development and distribution of an online course, highlighting how online public health education can be used to promote solidarity and social justice within the global public health community and throughout society more broadly. Twenty days after the influenza A(H1N1) virus outbreak was declared in Mexico, the National Institute of Public Health (INSP) released a free online course to train primary care health workers about the virus and prevention actions. The course was conceived as a self-directed learning object with a user-friendly interface and self-evaluations. Following the INSP´s mission to provide access to information and knowledge, the course was offered as a public good and distributed free of cost throughout Mexican and Latin America public health networks. In three months, over 35,000 direct downloads were recorded. Because the course was downloaded to other websites and distributed via CD, the actual number of health workers trained was much higher.
Keywords: e-learning, distance learning, public health education, Mexico.