OER1066 Oral Presentation

Identifying and cataloging existing Public Health Open Educational Resources

Heather Hartwell, Ann Hemingway, Catherine Angell, Bournemouth University

Conference Theme: Open Educational Content

Abstract: This paper will present the findings of the PHORUS (Public Health Open Resources for the University Sector) project funded by HEFCE. This project is significant because the provision of free online educational resources (OER) has the potential to aid the development and divergence of the Public Health workforce in a global context, enabling inter-professional teams to learn and work together (Reeves et al., 2005). One of the aims of the PHORUS project was to identify and catalogue international Public Health resources that are already available online, and map these against the UK Public Health Professional Framework. This paper describes the process undertaken for cataloging the wide range of Public Health OER currently available online. In order to ensure accurate identification of Public Health OER it was first necessary to clarify the terms used in the research. Defining the term ‘public health’ was a key element in identifying OER which might be relevant to the subject. There is a wide range of opinion on the nature and scope of Public Health, and little consensus in defining the term (Turnock, 2008). OER are also interpreted in many different ways, depending on context (Rehak and Mason, 2003). Clear parameters were developed for describing Public Health and OER. These were used to develop a search strategy for locating suitable on-line resources. The search strategy developed for this exercise utilised inclusion and exclusion criteria based on expert opinion from a wide range of disciplines. Once each OER was identified the content provided was mapped against the UK Public Health Skills and Career Framework, enabling the scope of available resources, and their potential applications for teaching, to be clearly documented. A template was produced for cataloging existing English Language Public Health OER from around the world. This can be used as a valuable resource for Public Health educators and students. It may also highlight areas of Public Health in which there are few OER available, or differences between OER provision in different regions.

Keywords: Public Health, OER, online search

Reeves S., Zwarenstein M., Goldman J., Barr H., Freeth D., Hammick M., Koppel I., (2005) Interprofessional education: Effects on professional practice and health care outcomes. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews John Wiley & Sons, London.
Rehak and Mason (2003) Keeping the learning in learning object. Littlejohn, A. (ed) Reusing online resources. Kogan Page, London. pp.20-34.
Turnock (2008) Public health: What it is and how it works. Jones and Bartlett, London.