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Opportunities for knowledge translation skill development through online learning

Date and Location




Saturday 21 September 2013 - 13:30 - 15:00


Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author

Maureen Dobbins

Contact person

Sunita Chera
Abstract text
Background: The National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools (NCCMT) aims to build capacity in knowledge translation for public health in Canada. In addition to in-person training, NCCMT offers online learning resources for skill development in English and French. These include online learning modules, searching pyramids and a Learning Centre for users to monitor their learning. Online learning opportunities allow users to gain knowledge and practice skills in a self-regulated learning environment, whereby learners develop self-efficacy and confidence to use research evidence in practice. Objectives: To describe how online learning resources are being accessed by public health professionals, and to assess the impact of online learning resources on self-efficacy, knowledge and skill development for evidence-informed public health practice. Methods: Public health professionals’ preferences for knowledge translation training were identified through an environmental scan, online surveys and evaluation reports on current products and services. Content for the online learning resources were developed by NCCMT staff and McMaster faculty, and pilot-tested with public health professionals. Data on users’ access and use of online learning resources were collected through website analytics. Users’ knowledge was assessed through completion of pre- and post-assessment questionnaires. Evaluation forms provided information on effectiveness of module content, design and format to support users’ learning. Results: Online learning resources have been accessed by over 2700 users in Canada and abroad. Pre- and post-assessment data indicate users experienced a statistically significant increase in self-efficacy scores for using research evidence in decision making and critical appraisal of intervention studies. Knowledge of module content on quantitative research design increased significantly from pre-assessment (66.4%) to final assessment (88.1%) [21.7%, 95% CI (18.5% to 25%), p<0.001]. Conclusions:Online learning resources may be an effective strategy to meet the learning needs of public health professionals to develop skills and capacity for knowledge translation.