A new guide for developing distance and online learning in post-graduate public health education for health systems development: philosophy and practice
What does the guide do?
At the recent 4th Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in Vancouver, the School of Public Health at the University of the Western Cape launched a guide that seeks to support post-graduate educators who are developing courses and accompanying resources for distance, online and blended learning.
Although it is clear from our collaborations and international debates that many educators in public health and health policy and systems research see the potential of different types of learning, not least making education accessible to more working health professionals, and are re-thinking how they deliver their courses, this can be very challenging. In South-South Collaboration in Teaching and Learning about Health Policy and Systems Research, the conference session where the Guide was launched, discussion points included students who question the appropriateness of this form of delivery for highly technical disciplines, educators feeling weighed down by the expectation to constantly learn new technologies, and organisations that have little faith in the credibility of the process and outcome of distance/online learning, which they demonstrate by for example not hiring any academic staff who earned their qualifications in this way.