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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Introduction to Methods for Health Services Research and Evaluation

by Jonathan Weiner
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4 stars
Content Quality: 4 stars
Effectiveness: 3.75 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Nov 05, 2008 by Health Sciences
Overview: Introduction to Health Services Research and Evaluation is open courseware provided without charge to the public by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. This open course has four units and 15 lessons whose purpose is to teach the basic concepts of research and evaluation in health care, particularly related to policy development. Most lessons contain a lecture (no audio), reading assignments, and individual exercises with answers. There are four learning labs that could be completed by a small group. The instructors of this course are Jonathan P. Weiner, Lynda C. Burton, and Elizabeth A. Skinner. Introduction to Health Services Research and Evaluation is a text-based course which contains a syllabus, schedule, and lessons. No audio or video is used in the course. There are reading assignments and an individual activity (self assessment) in each lesson. Key words include the following: research, program evaluation, health policy, research design, reliability and validity of measurement tools, cost benefit, and cost-effectiveness analysis
Learning Goals: The instructors identified two overall learning goals for the course which are cited below:
  • Critique published health services research and health program evaluations
  • Develop a design for a research or evaluation project.
Additionally, the instructors provided a learning goal for lessons in the course.
Target Student Population: Undergraduate and graduate students in health-related fields are the target of this research class. This course would benefit students who will carrying out policy research or program impact evaluation within healthcare delivery systems.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
  • Student who take this course need to have some familiarity with the health care field.
  • Students need to have good reading comprehension skills because assignments include published research reports and published methods papers.
  • Students would learn more in the course by having already completed a statistics course.
  • Computer skills needed for this course are ability to navigate the Internet and locate reading assignments by following links or making an inter-library loan request at studentsÂ’ home universities.
Type of Material: Introduction to Health Services Research and Evaluation is a sequentially organized course that contains readings and activities to meet specific instructional objectives.
Recommended Uses: Students who use this course need to be motivated to learn research and program evaluation without having interaction with teachers or other students. It is definitely designed as an independent study. Faculty members in higher education could link to the site to use individual assignments or group activities (called labs in the course.
Technical Requirements: The technical requirements include access to the Internet, and use of a browser such as Internet Explorer or Foxfire, and Adobe Reader.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths:
  • The content of the course is valid.
  • Concepts are logically presented, and the organization of the course is obvious to the reader.
  • The scope of the course is appropriate to meet the learning goals.
Concerns:
  • The lectures end abruptly with no summary of concepts.
  • There are few links to other Internet resources in the course that would provide opportunity to explore the topics further.
  • There is no opportunity for interaction with the content or with others.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 3.75 stars
Strengths: The purpose of the health services research and evaluation course is to teach basic concepts to students who independently use the course. The course achieves its purpose. The course could be used as a supplementary information resource for individuals studying research methods in healthcare.
Concerns: Even though the course achieves its purpose, it lacks interesting graphics, audio, and video. Its presentation of concepts is text-based and dry. Student must be highly motivated to complete the course. Individuals wishing for an overview of healthcare research methods may find this site too involved for their needs.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths:
  • The course is presented in a familiar manner with navigation on the left side of the screen and content in the middle.
  • The site is easy to navigate.
  • The course design is clean and uncluttered.
  • All links work.
Concerns: The text-focused, lengthy slide show format of the lectures may lack in delivery excitement.

Other Issues and Comments: This site is very accessible as far as file format and need for advanced software or computer functionality; however, it may be too in depth for the needs of individuals not already versed in research methods and terminology.