Online Training for Public Health: Educating on Immunizations for 7 Million Children in the State of Texas
Developing online training is rewarding for many reasons, not the least of which is that we get to work on some amazing elearning projects and cover a variety of topics. When an elearning project positively impacts our surrounding communities, the rewards are even richer.
One of our favorite training projects educates multiple sectors within the State of Texas on childhood and adult immunizations. Providing informative content targeted to several different audiences, the Texas Vaccine Education Online program consists of over 36 online courses that include text, graphics, and interactive learning checks. Some have video and animations. Each course concludes with a short, multiple-choice test, and most of the courses can be completed in about 15 minutes. Participants who successfully complete a course and test can print out a Certificate of Completion.
The program was developed by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Immunization Branch and launched in 2007. Offered free of charge to learners, courses are regularly updated to reflect changes in regulations, information, and technology, and new courses are added as needs arise.
There are over 27 million people in the State of Texas and over 7 million children between the age of 0 and 18. Ongoing public education is critical to a successful child and adolescent immunization program. But there are a couple of challenges involved:
- How do you create awareness reaching the numerous audiences that can have an impact on vaccination levels, and
- How do you educate them in order to raise the state’s coverage levels?
The Immunization Branch and Microassist developed Texas Vaccine Education Online to provide short online courses on topics related to vaccines, including Texas Vaccines for Children (TVFC), ImmTrac (a secure, confidential registry that stores vaccine information electronically in one centralized system), vaccine-preventable diseases, vaccine administration, and strategies to raise state coverage levels.
Each course is designed for a specific audience, such as
- Parents and the public at large
- Healthcare providers
- Local health departments
- Local health service regions
- School personnel
- Childcare and camp directors
DSHS subject matter experts developed content for the courses. Different courses targeted different audiences based on information relevant to their fields or role. Microassist translated that content into effective, self-paced online elearning modules that could be accessed anywhere, anytime. Microassist also designed and maintains the learning management system (LMS) used to host and deliver the courses. In addition to the course topics listed above, groups can learn about childcare requirements, school immunization requirements, adolescent and adult vaccine standards, storage and handling, eligibility, enrollment and program management.
All courses are available to all audiences through the Vaccine Education Online free of charge.
Problems We Solved by Building Vaccine Education Online
Microassist worked closely with DSHS to reach the learning goals specified by program leadership. The Vaccine Education Online program is a great example of an elearning project used as outreach. It was specifically structured to reach a broad audience dispersed across the state and yet segmented to give each audience the specific modules applicable to their fields of expertise. Because it’s online, participants can learn at the times that best fit their schedules at any location with an internet connected device. It’s also one example of creating accessible elearning, that is, elearning that is navigable, perceivable, and usable by all, including those with disabilities.
For Further Reading
- Microassist Elearning Examples Drawn from Texas DSHS Projects
- Elearning Spotlight: Military Child Education Coalition and Blended Learning
How Can We Help You With Your Online Training Project?
If you have a particular elearning project you’d like to discuss, contact us for a free consultation at 512-794-8440.