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Data Skills Online. A Maternal and Child Health Toolbox for Analytic and Technology Training of Public Health Professionals. APHA Annual Meeting: October 2001. Project Description. Service Provided : Free, self-instructional, web-based training

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Data skills online

Data Skills Online

A Maternal and Child Health Toolbox for Analytic and Technology Training of Public Health Professionals

APHA Annual Meeting: October 2001


Project description

Project Description

  • Service Provided: Free, self-instructional, web-based training

  • Target audience: State and local public health professionals

  • Project Goal: Train professionals in skills that can be used on demand on the job, such as:

    • Working with population based data

    • Developing and reporting measures for the Title V Block Grant

    • Monitoring and evaluating program activities

    • Developing strategies to meet the needs of the MCH population

  • Courseware Used: WebCT 3.6 (Web Course Tools)

  • Tool Access:

    • User registers by providing their contact and demographic information

    • User selects a tool and creates account with login ID and password

    • User downloads and prints a Certificate upon completion of a tool

  • Funding Period: September 2000 – May 2002


Web site features

Web Site

Registration Form

Online Tools Page

View descriptions of tools

View tables of contents

Read logon instructions

Technical Skills Test

Assess your computer’s capacity

Practice navigating in WebCT

Practice navigating in a PDF file

Practice downloading a document

Technical Support Page

Registration and logon instructions

Troubleshooting tips

DSO staff contact information

WebCT Courseware

Create a free account with a username and password

Add DSO tools to your account

Hyperlinks to glossary definitions

Table of contents available within each tool

Certificates of completion available for printing

Web Site Features


Curricula offered

Currently Available:

Subscribing to a List

Browser Basics and Searching

Web Design

Creating Spreadsheets in Microsoft Excel

Overview of Primary Data Collection Instruments

Designing Questionnaires

Developing an Analysis Plan for a Quantitative Study

Geographic Information Systems

Several Plug-In Tutorials

Under Development

Understanding Title V Performance Measures and the Title V Information System*

PRAMS Data Analysis for Title V Performance Measures*

Conducting a Health Services Needs Assessment for CSHCN*

Economic Analysis in MCH

Measuring Maternal Morbidity

Assessing Infant Mortality Factors at State and Local Levels

Creating a Relational Database in Microsoft Access 2000

Curricula Offered

* Currently being field tested and soon to be released


Marketing venues

Marketing Venues

  • Listservs (e.g. State Title V directors, City MatCH, UNC SPH alumni)

  • Search engines (e.g. Yahoo, Excite, HotBot)

  • Web site links (Public Health Foundation, UNC SPH, UC Berkeley SPH)

  • National organization newsletters (NACCHO membership monthly, ASTHO, Society of Public Health Educators, AMCHP)


Tool abstracts

Tool Abstracts

Technology Tools

"Subscribing to a List"

  • This tool is designed to teach professionals about how to participate through email in the different lists that organizations use to disseminate information. Upon completion of the tool, the user will be able to:

  • ·Conduct a search for a list of interest

  • ·Subscribe to a list

  • ·Send and receive messages on the list

    "Browser Basics and Searching"

  • This tool is designed to help professionals learn about the World Wide Web, and how to find information using Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator. Upon completion of the tool, the user will be able to

    • Describe what the World Wide Web is and how to explore it using either Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator

    • Use a search engine to search the web for a topic of interest

    • Create bookmarks in a web browser

      "Web Design"

  • This tool is designed to teach professionals how to produce their own personal web page using Microsoft FrontPage, Microsoft Word, Corel WordPerfect, and Netscape Composer. Design and technical issues involved in the three stages of web site development--Planning, Design, and Maintenance, will be considered. Upon completion of the tool, the user will be able to:

    • Describe the basic principles of good web page design

    • Create simple web pages and upload them


Tool abstracts1

Tool Abstracts

Analytic Tools

"Overview of Primary Data Collection Instruments"

  • This tool is designed to assist professionals in determining which type of primary data to gather, depending on the issue to be studied, and specific research questions. Upon completion of the tool, the user will be able to:

  • · Identify modes of primary data collection, and know when to defer to secondary data

  • ·  Know where to locate secondary data sources specific to MCH

  • ·  Identify methods for administering questionnaires/surveys

  • ·  Describe advantages and disadvantages of different methods of survey administration

  • ·  Given a scenario, determine the types of primary data to collect, the modes of collection, and methods for administration

    "Designing Questionnaires"

  • This tool is designed to assist the professional in developing a questionnaire for quantitative and qualitative primary data collection. The user will be introduced to the components of questionnaires and approaches to developing them. Upon completion of the tool, the user will:

    • Understand the different types of questions designed for questionnaires

    • Understand guidelines and basic principles of writing and formatting effective questions

    • Know the rationale for pre-testing questionnaires

    • Be aware of ethical considerations when administering questionnaires


Tool abstracts2

Tool Abstracts

"Developing an Analysis Plan for a Quantitative Study"

  • This tool is designed to assist the professional in making decisions about how to examine and present numerical data on health-related issues. The tool will guide the user through the steps of a study, and provide suggestions for writing a final report based on descriptive or inductive data. Upon completion of the tool, the user will be able to:

    • Describe the rationale for developing a quantitative analysis plan

    • Describe the main differences between a descriptive study and an inductive study

    • List and describe the components of a quantitative analysis plan

    • Determine which univariate or bivariate statistical tests to use

    • Understand how to interpret results of univariate or bivariate statistical tests

    • Develop an analysis plan

      "Geographic Information Systems"

  • This tool is designed to teach professionals about geographic information systems (GIS), which are tools used to collect and display data in the form of maps. GIS is typically used to help answer spatial questions by facilitating visualization, spatial analysis, modeling, and decision-making. Upon completion of the three lessons in this tool, users will be able to:

  • Describe basic GIS theory and terminology

  • Be familiar with the practical application of GIS methods; including data grouping, map construction, and the appropriate use of colors and shading

  • Describe strengths and limitations of GIS data sources and software applications

  • Construct a simple map using ArcExplorer software


Data skills online

Six-Month Follow-Up: Participants Who Completed a Tool from 01/01/01 – 04/30/01

Have you shared information about the Data Skills Online web site with co-workers? (N=57)

Have You trained or assisted one or more colleagues in a skill that you learned by completing a Data Skills Online tool? (N=57)


Data skills online

Education Level of Registrants (N=586)

January 8-September 14, 2001

Year of Most Recent Degree (N=574)

January 8-September 14, 2001


Data skills online

Data Skills Online Registrants by State (N=586)January 8 – September 14, 2001

A total of 586 individuals representing 48 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, Egypt, Italy, Jordan, Malta, Palau, and Tanzania

have registered for at least one of the tools available as of September 14, 2001. Concentration of registrants is highest in GA, NC, SC, and VA

because of project initiatives (including on site training) at the public health region level.


Data skills online

Data Skills Online Participants, by MCH Occupation (N=586) January 8 - September 14, 2001

Non-MCH Professionals

MCH Professionals


Users are saying

Users are Saying. . .

  • “I thought I knew a lot about surveying for data. This short course broadened my knowledge and made me think about new ways to enhance and make data collection more useful.” (Primary Data Collection tool)


Users are saying1

Users are Saying. . .

  • “Overall, this experience has been extremely valuable to me, in raising my confidence level in using the Internet and the computer in general. I am much more comfortable with the terminology and various software capabilities, at a time when it is a professional survival skill.” (Web Design tool)


Users are saying2

Users are Saying. . .

  • “Overall, this experience has been extremely valuable to me, in raising my confidence level in using the Internet and the computer in general. I am much more comfortable with the terminology and various software capabilities, at a time when it is a professional survival skill.” (Web Design tool)


Users are saying3

Users are Saying. . .

  • “This was a very enlightening project. I can see many ways that I will be able to use this knowledge to gather and analyze data to determine if we are providing sufficient health care in my community.”(Developing an Analysis Plan for a Quantitative Study tool)


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