Internet Training Workshop Scores High Marks
Czech District Hygiene Stations (DITs), NGOs and other health professionals convened in Prague in October 1999 for a three-day workshop focused on training in using the Internet, Internet structure and access, Internet information sources, exchanging email, the role of communication in health promotion and how to apply it for tobacco control networking in the Czech Republic. For this first workshop of its Internet-Based Tobacco Control Program launched in June 1999, CECHE and its two Czech partners-- the Czech National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) and the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine Laboratory for Atherosclerosis Research (IKEM)-- selected seventeen health and tobacco control professionals to participate in the trainingpart of a tobacco control training program sponsored by the World Bank/InfoDev. The workshop was conducted in Prague from October 4 through 6, 1999, led by facilitators from GLOBALink, CECHE, NIPH andIKEM. The Internet training program was evaluated using two research approaches quantitative surveys and qualitative open-ended comments. Quantitative data were obtained with two survey instruments: a pre- and post-program measure of the understanding of ten Internet concepts, and a survey of the participants' evaluation of the program's components and sessions at the end of the program. Qualitative data were collected through open-ended questions included in the survey instruments. The quantitative data were coded, analyzed, summarized and compared using statistical means. The qualitative data were transcribed and analyzed.
Pre- and post-program measures of the understanding of ten Internet concepts by the participants revealed that the workshop accomplished its objectives in spades. The average score for all the concepts increased from 4.1 prior to the workshop to 7.3 on a 1-9 scale after the workshop. Participants overall attitude towards the program was a favorable 5.0 on a 7-point scale.
Helpfulness and Utility
The participants assessed the training program as extremely helpful in reaching the workshop goals and their personal goals and rated it 3.6 on a 1-4 scale (click here to see chart).
(Mean Ratings: 1=Not at all/Never, 4=Extremely/All the time)
Participants assessed the key Internet activities as very to extremely relevant (average 3.4 on a 1-4 scale). Top rating of 3.8 went to Internet expert Ruben Israels presentation. Rudolph Polednes presentation on tobacco control scored 3.0 on relevance and 3.2 on interest. Hana Sovinova, the Czech Project Coordinator and Director of the National Institute of Public Health who discussed the Czech tobacco control network and activities received a 3.4 relevance and 3.5 interest score. Interest scores for the combined activities averaged 3.5 and were considered very to extremely interesting. Israel -- described as skilled-- scored 3.9 for interest.
Sources of Information
Rated the most valued aspects of the workshop were the Internet and email (click here to see chart). In addition, one participant mentioned Ruben Israels role and skills as an Internet expert while another selected GLOBALink and information on CECHE.
The pre- and post-measures of the understanding of ten Internet concepts showed that the group as a whole was unfamiliar with Internet activities at the beginning of the program (average 4.1 on the combined dimensions -- click here to see chart). Their average understanding increased to 7.3 on a 1-9 scale after participating in the training program. The largest gains were in learning about URL which increased 4.7 from 2.2 to 6.9 and learning about GLOBALink (grew 4.5 from 2.9 to 7.4).
Other sizeable jumps were seen in learning about browsers, which grew 3.8 from 3.7 to 7.5. Online discussion grew 3.5 from 3.8 to 7.3 while rating scores for both listserv and hyperlink grew 3.0.
Overall, the participants were satisfied with the outcome of the workshop in view of the fact that they indicated that the workshop met their personal goals and that they would use the training they gained in their own professional work. In view of the lower assessments for the non-programmatic aspects of the workshop -- social events, travel arrangements, and accommodation improvements in these areas should enhance participation in future workshops.
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