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Developing Health Education Materials for Low-Literate Adults

Developing Health Education Materials for Low-Literate Adults

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Developing Health Education Materials for Low-Literate Adults

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  1. Developing Health Education Materials for Low-Literate Adults

  2. Objectives • Discuss profiles and prevalence of low literacy in the USA • Describe the impact low literacy has on health care and foodservice industries • Contract the difference between the traditional process of developing materials and the three-phase process

  3. Objectives, cont. • Design appropriate steps for developing the first draft • List characteristics of good illustrations to use with low literate adults • Use the SMOG formula or Fry Chart to determine readability level of material

  4. Magnitude of Literacy Problem in USA • 20% of adults cannot read or write to complete basis tasks • 45 million can barely read • 1 of 8 employees reads on a 4th grade level • 1 of 5 reads at the 8th grade level • Most materials are written at the 9-12th grade level

  5. Literacy Skills • Reading • Writing • Numeracy • Document processing

  6. Functional Literacy • Ability to: • Read at 4-6th grade level • Address envelop • Fill out forms

  7. Why is literacy a challenge for employers, supervisors, and nutrition educators?

  8. Not enough qualified candidates to fill jobs because of low literacy - especially in hospitals and food service. • Need to use materials designed for a lower literacy audience.

  9. What does it feel like to have limited literacy skills?

  10. The Traditional Process for Developing Education Materials….

  11. The Three Phase Process….1, 2, 3

  12. Phase 1 Planning

  13. Define Audience • Age • Gender • Ethnicity • Marriage status • Geographic location • Determine grade level

  14. Conduct Needs Assessment • What do they want to know, not what we think they need • Balance perspectives • User friendly • How to conduct assessment? • Personal interviews • Market surveys

  15. Write Learning Objectives • Limit to 1 to 2 objectives • Focus writing

  16. Confer with your peers.

  17. Phase 2 Development

  18. Strategic Organization • Be consistent in format • Put important information first or last • Summarize and repeat points often • Restate in different terms • Use repetition or a series • Use one idea per page (or one at a time)

  19. Strategic Organization, cont. • Be specific, concise and accurate • Present examples • Sequence logically • topic • step by step • chronologically

  20. Writing • Be careful of cutesy phrases • Use simple definitions of new words and repeat often • Use active verbs, not passive • Use positive statements • Use words with single meanings • Avoid contractions and acronyms

  21. Writing, cont. • Use simple sentences • avoid semicolons, etc. • Paragraphs should be short and to the point • Repeat the main point throughout the paragraph • unrepeated information lasts 1/4 second to one hour • repeated lasts 8 hours

  22. Illustrations • Keep purposeful • Place next to the text • Remove extraneous detail • Realistic full body • Better to show only desired behavior

  23. Illustrations, cont. • Don’t use distracting illustrations • Placing concepts together in a box is an effective visual device • Don’t get too clever or cute

  24. Font • Optima or Helvetica best • Contrast color with background • Avoid serifs

  25. Format • Use short explanatory headings • Adequate white space and wide margins • Right justified • Recommend 45 letter columns • Avoid lengthy lists • Double space between paragraphs • Do not indent

  26. Phase 3 Evaluation

  27. Readability • Fry • SMOG