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Online Public Health Education for Low and Middle-Income Countries: Factors Influencing Successful Student Outcomes

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Author(s): Keir Elmslie James Philip | Andrew Lee

Journal: International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET)
ISSN 1863-0383

Volume: 6;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 65;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: open | distance | learning | outcome | indicators | peoples-uni | public | health | education

ABSTRACT
Background: Affordable, online public health education could assist health and development in low and middle-income countries. The Peoples-uni (www.Peoples-uni.org ) aims to provide this through a fully accredited, low cost, online Masters in Public Health. Although literature exists relating to online learners in general, we lack research regarding the characteristics of successful learners in this new student group. This study assessed which readily available information on learners could predict success in course modules. Methods: A descriptive survey method was used to assess correlations between pass rates with students’ personal characteristics (gender, nationality etc) and indicators of course engagement (discussion contributions, online profile etc). We sampled all students starting modules between September 2009 and March 2010 (n=218). Results: All indicators of engagement correlated strongly with pass rates, particularly online presence (photo/personal information on profile). Paying for modules correlated with higher pass rates than not. Interestingly, waiving fees correlated with lower pass rates than those who had not paid. Personal characteristics were not related to pass rates. Conclusion: Engagement is important for success, and indicators of which can predict pass rates, the personal characteristics investigated were not related to success. Further research is required to understand the nature of associations this study highlights.

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Tango Rapperswil

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