National Network of Libraries of Medicine
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Upgrade your Health! Using Technology to Master Health and Wellness Management

"In our proposed project, Philadelphia FIGHT Community Health Centers will design a six-week program called Upgrade Your Health!, addressing digital health literacy disparities by leveraging online and mobile technology. This course supports learners in managing their health beyond the clinician's office and integrating NLM and NNLM resources into their health management strategies, enabling learners to increase their knowledge and skills around critical health and wellness topics and chronic illnesses common in our patient population. FIGHT's 30-year history of providing accurate, unbiased, and authoritative resources and training on HIV and hepatitis C primes us to support Philadelphia's most impacted communities. Offered at FIGHT's Critical Path Learning Center, a digitally-integrated health education library and literacy center, Upgrade Your Health! Will reach 50 learners by: 1. Developing an engaging curriculum covering fitness and nutrition, diabetes, hypertension, HIV, hepatitis C, and other chronic conditions impacting communities. These topics were identified through focus groups with FIGHT clients. 2. Incorporating digital literacy instruction, including finding reliable online health information such as MedlinePlus, utilizing apps or websites to support healthy living, and using patient portals, across numerous devices. 3. Utilizing a Learning Management System (LMS) to provide interactive online content accessible outside the classroom. "
Identify any specific population(s) this project will serve: 
Urban
HIV/AIDS
Identify roles of participants this project will serve: 
General public
Library or information professional
Project Lead:
Alyssa Richman
Funding Source: 
MAR
Project Funding:
Federal Fiscal Year: 
2018
Funding Amount: 
$19000
Funding Period:
May 15, 2018 to Apr 30, 2019
Project Status:
Completed

Activities

Upgrade Your Health Cohort 2A Week 6 Session 6: Navigating Patient Portals (in-person)
Activity Description:
This was the sixth and last session of the program. During this session, participants learned about patient portals, including why they are useful, how privacy is handled, and how participants could benefit by using them. The session was a mandatory session in which participants completed the online module with support from the instructor and completed any final paperwork required of the program.
Activity Dates:
04/17/2019
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Achievements:
There were two objectives for this session: 1. Recognize basic features common to all patient portals 2. Identify 2-3 ways patient portals can be used by them personally 7 out of 8 participants attended the session in person. The eighth participant finished the module online.
Upgrade Your Health Cohort 2B Week 5 Session 5 (in-person)
Activity Description:
This was the fifth in-person session of Upgrade Your Health, cohort 2B. This was a mandatory in-person session. The session was designed to allow participants to be able to: 1. Identify at least 2 new strategies for getting the most out of visits with healthcare providers 2. Discuss why provider fit is important and how to make sure medical needs are filled by various healthcare clinicians
Activity Dates:
04/10/2019
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Achievements:
Participants were able to ask questions of the instructor and converse with each other about their experiences talking with healthcare professionals. They were able to use language and ideas from the module to help guide the discussions.
Upgrade Your Health Cohorts 2A+B Week 4 Session 4: Tracking Your Health Statistics (online)
Activity Description:
This online module focused on major statistics that are indicators of health and wellbeing. Participants learned the importance of exercise, health ranges for heart beat and blood pressure, as well as the importance of sleep and staying hydrated. Participants watched videos, took quizzes and filled in short answer questions.
Activity Dates:
04/03/2019
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Achievements:
The purpose of the online session was to: 1. Describe how health statistics such as heart rate, sleep patterns, exercise/steps contribute to health and well being 2. Allow participants to think about and reflect on how they may change patterns or routines in their lives to positively influence their health statistics.
Upgrade Your Health Cohort 2B Week 4 Session 4: Tracking Your Health Statistics (in-person)
Activity Description:
This was the fourth session of Upgrade Your Health, cohort 2B. This was a mandatory in-person session designed to help learners understand how tracking their health statistics could lead to better wellness outcomes and goal setting.
Activity Dates:
04/03/2019
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Achievements:
The objectives for week 4 were to enable participants to: 1. Describe how health statistics such as heart rate, sleep patterns, exercise/steps contribute to health and well being 2. Operate a Fitbit and interpret health statistics recorded 3. Set health and wellbeing goals that can be tracked by Fitbit" 4 participants eventually completed this module during the in-person.
Upgrade Your Health Cohort 2A Week 4 Session 4: Tracking Your Health Statistics (in-person)
Activity Description:
This was the fourth session of Upgrade Your Health, cohort 2A. This was a mandatory in-person session designed to help learners understand how tracking their health statistics could lead to better wellness outcomes and goal setting.
Activity Dates:
04/03/2019
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Achievements:
The objectives for week 4 were to enable participants to: 1. Describe how health statistics such as heart rate, sleep patterns, exercise/steps contribute to health and well being 2. Operate a Fitbit and interpret health statistics recorded 3. Set health and wellbeing goals that can be tracked by Fitbit" 8 participants eventually completed this module during the in-person.
Upgrade Your Health Cohort 2A Week 3 Session 3 (in-person)
Activity Description:
This was the third session of Upgrade Your Health, cohort 1. This was an optional in-person session designed to support learners who need additional help with online coursework. The course instructor was available to help answer questions. This is an important component of the course as it allows participants who do not have regular access to computers a place to complete the necessary work.
Activity Dates:
03/27/2019
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Achievements:
The objective of the Week 3 In-Person session was to provide computer access and support for those who either do not have computer access at home or who need support using a computer to complete classwork. Six of the seven enrolled learners took advantage of this session and all but one eventually completed the online module.
Upgrade Your Health Cohort 2B Week 3 Session 3 (in-person)
Activity Description:
This was the third session of Upgrade Your Health, cohort 1. This was an optional in-person session designed to support learners who need additional help with online coursework. The course instructor was available to help answer questions. This is an important component of the course as it allows participants who do not have regular access to computers a place to complete the necessary work.
Activity Dates:
03/27/2019
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Achievements:
The objective of the Week 3 In-Person session was to provide computer access and support for those who either do not have computer access at home or who need support using a computer to complete classwork. 2 of the 4 enrolled learners took advantage of this session and all eventually completed the online module. The course instructor supported participants to access and complete module 3.
Upgrade Your Health Cohort 2B Week 2 Session 2 (online)
Activity Description:
NEEDS TO BE COMPLETED
Activity Dates:
03/20/2019
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Achievements:
There were 2 objectives for this session: first, that learners would be able to identify at least 3 new strategies to maximize the efficiency of internet searches and that learners would be able to see how different internet search strategies changes the search results. Both objectives were met. 4 out of 4 enrolled learners completed all necessary activities.
Upgrade Your Health Cohort 2A Week 2 Session 2 (online)
Activity Description:
This was the second online module of Upgrade Your Health, cohort 1. This was a required, online module designed to introduce learners to computer fundamentals. This module contains several videos on basic computer usage, internet searching, and good search strategies. Participants also completing an activity to practice internet search skills and took a quiz on computer basics.
Activity Dates:
03/20/2019
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Achievements:
There were 2 objectives for this session: first, that learners would be able to identify at least 3 new strategies to maximize the efficiency of internet searches and that learners would be able to see how different internet search strategies changes the search results. Both objectives were met. 6 out of 7 enrolled learners completed all necessary activities.
Upgrade Your Health Cohort 2A Week 2 Session 2 (in-person)
Activity Description:
This was the second session of Upgrade Your Health, cohort 2A. This was an optional, in-person session designed to support learners who need additional help with the online coursework. The session was held in the Learning Center and learners logged into the LMS and worked at their own pace. Course instructor Kelly Sines was on hand to help and answer questions.
Activity Dates:
03/20/2019
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Achievements:
The objective of the Week 2 In-Person session was to provide computer access for those who don't have access at home and to provide some support for learners with emerging digital literacy skills. One of the six enrolled learners took advantage of this session. Course instructor Kelly Sines supported them to access the course and complete module 2.
Upgrade Your Health Cohort 2A Week 2 Session 2 (in-person)
Activity Description:
This was the second session of Upgrade Your Health, cohort 2A. This was an optional, in-person session designed to support learners who need additional help with the online coursework. The session was held in the Learning Center and learners logged into the LMS and worked at their own pace. Course instructor Kelly Sines was on hand to help and answer questions.
Activity Dates:
03/20/2019
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Achievements:
The objective of the Week 2 In-Person session was to provide computer access for those who don't have access at home and to provide some support for learners with emerging digital literacy skills. Five of the seven enrolled learners took advantage of this session. Course instructor Kelly Sines supported them to access the course and complete module 2.
Upgrade Your Health Cohort 2B Week 1 Session 1 (online)
Activity Description:
This was the first online module of Upgrade Your Health, cohort 2B. This was a required, online session designed to introduce learners to the course. We covered the format of the course, the course requirements, and what the course will cover. The final part of the session was a quiz to assess their understanding of what the course would offer.
Activity Dates:
03/13/2019
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Achievements:
All six enrolled learners successfully completed Module 1 of the Upgrade Your Health course. They viewed the introduction video and everyone passed the Module 1 quiz measuring their understanding of the content and what they can expect of the course.
Upgrade Your Health Cohort 2A Week 1 Session 1 (online)
Activity Description:
This was the first online module of Upgrade Your Health, cohort 2A. This was a required, online session designed to introduce learners to the course. We covered the format of the course, the course requirements, and what the course will cover. The final part of the session was a quiz to assess their understanding of what the course would offer.
Activity Dates:
03/13/2019
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Achievements:
All seven enrolled learners successfully completed Module 1 of the Upgrade Your Health course. They viewed the introduction video and everyone passed the Module 1 quiz measuring their understanding of the content and what they can expect of the course.
Upgrade Your Health Cohort 2B Week 1 Session 1 (in-person)
Activity Description:
This was the first session of Upgrade Your Health, cohort 2B. This was a required, in-person session designed to introduce learners to the course. We covered the format of the course, the course requirements, and what the course will cover.
Activity Dates:
03/13/2019
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Achievements:
There were 2 objectives for this session: first, that all learners would be able to sign in and out of the Learning Management System (LMS) and second, that learners would understand the course syllabus, schedule, and requirements to successfully complete the class. Both objectives were met. Five of the six enrolled learners received a login and practiced accessing online course materials.
Upgrade Your Health Cohort 2A Week 1 Session 1 (in-person)
Activity Description:
This was the first session of Upgrade Your Health, cohort 2a. This was a required, in-person session designed to introduce learners to the course. We covered the format of the course, the course requirements, and what the course will cover.
Activity Dates:
03/13/2019
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Achievements:
There were 2 objectives for this session: first, that all learners would be able to sign in and out of the Learning Management System (LMS) and second, that learners would understand the course syllabus, schedule, and requirements to successfully complete the class. Both objectives were met. Six of seven enrolled learners received a login and practiced accessing online course materials.
Upgrade Your Health Cohort 1 Week 4 Session 4: Tracking Your Health Statistics (online)
Activity Description:
This was the fourth online of Upgrade Your Health, cohort 1. The focus of this module was to enable participants to: 1. Describe how health statisitics such as heart rate, sleep patterns, exercise/steps contribute to health and well being 2. Operate a Fitbit and interpret health statistics recorded 3.
Activity Dates:
02/13/2019
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Achievements:
The objectives for week 4 were to enable participants to: 1. Describe how health statisitics such as heart rate, sleep patterns, exercise/steps contribute to health and well being 2. Operate a Fitbit and interpret health statistics recorded 3.
Upgrade Your Health Cohort 1 Week 1 (online)
Activity Description:
This was the first online module of Upgrade Your Health, cohort 1. This was a required, online session designed to introduce learners to the course. We covered the format of the course, the course requirements, and what the course will cover. The final part of the session was a quiz to assess their understanding of what the course would offer.
Activity Dates:
01/23/2019 to 01/29/2019
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Achievements:
All seven enrolled learners successfully completed Module 1 of the Upgrade Your Health course. They viewed the introduction video and everyone passed the Module 1 quiz measuring their understanding of the content and what they can expect of the course.
Upgrade Your Health Cohort 1 Week 1 Session 1 (in-person)
Activity Description:
This was the first session of Upgrade Your Health, cohort 1. This was a required, in-person session designed to introduce learners to the course. We covered the format of the course, the course requirements, and what the course will cover.
Activity Dates:
01/23/2019
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Achievements:
There were 2 objectives for this session: first, that all learners would be able to sign in and out of the Learning Management System (LMS) and second, that learners would understand the course syllabus, schedule, and requirements to successfully complete the class. Both objectives were met. Six of seven enrolled learners received a login and practiced accessing online course materials.
Upgrade Your Health Cohort 1 Week 2 (online)
Activity Description:
This was the second online module of Upgrade Your Health, cohort 1. This was a required, online module designed to introduce learners to computer fundamentals. This module contains several videos on basic computer usage, internet searching, and good search strategies. Participants also completing an activity to practice internet search skills and took a quiz on computer basics.
Activity Dates:
01/30/2019 to 02/05/2019
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Achievements:
There were 2 objectives for this session: first, that learners would be able to identify at least 3 new strategies to maximize the efficiency of internet searches and that learners would be able to see how different internet search strategies changes the search results. Both objectives were met.
Upgrade Your Health Cohort 1 Week 2 Session 1 (in-person)
Activity Description:
This was the second session of Upgrade Your Health, cohort 1. This was an optional, in-person session designed to support learners who need additional help with the online coursework. The session was held in the Learning Center and learners logged into the LMS and worked at their own pace. Course instructor Kelly Sines was on hand to help and answer questions.
Activity Dates:
01/30/2019
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Achievements:
The objective of the Week 2 In-Person session was to provide computer access for those who don't have access at home and to provide some support for learners with emerging digital literacy skills. Three of the seven enrolled learners took advantage of this session. Course instructor Kelly Sines supported them to access the course and complete module 2.
Upgrade Your Health Cohort 1 Week 3 Session 3: Finding Reliable Health Information Online (in-person)
Activity Description:
This was the third session of Upgrade Your Health, cohort 1. This was an optional in-person session designed to support learners who need additional help with online coursework. The course instructor was available to help answer questions. This is an important component of the course as it allows participants who do not have regular access to computers a place to complete the necessary work.
Activity Dates:
02/06/2019
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Achievements:
The objective of the Week 3 In-Person session was to provide computer access and support for those who either do not have computer access at home or who need support using a computer to complete classwork. five of the seven enrolled learners took advantage of this session and all eventually completed the online module. The course instructor supported participants to access and complete module 3.
Upgrade Your Health Cohort 1 Week 3 Session 3: Finding Reliable Health Information Online (online)
Activity Description:
This was the third online module of Upgrade Your Health, cohort 1. This was a required, online session designed to introduce learners to tips and strategies for finding accurate health information online. The objectives of the module were to: 1. Recognize 3-4 ways to tell if a website is a reliable source of health information 2.
Activity Dates:
02/07/2019 to 02/12/2019
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Achievements:
All seven enrolled learners successfully completed Module 3 of the Upgrade Your Health course. Each participant was able to identify and describe at least one new tip or piece of knowledge they learned to better gauge the quality of information online. This was evidenced by an open-ended questions participants had to answer to complete the module.
Upgrade Your Health Cohort 1 Week 4 Session 4: Tracking Your Health Statistics (in-person)
Activity Description:
This was the fourth session of Upgrade Your Health, cohort 1. This was a mandatory in-person session designed to help learners understand how tracking their health statistics could lead to better wellness outcomes and goal setting.
Activity Dates:
02/13/2019
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Achievements:
The objectives for week 4 were to enable participants to: 1. Describe how health statisitics such as heart rate, sleep patterns, exercise/steps contribute to health and well being 2. Operate a Fitbit and interpret health statistics recorded 3.
Upgrade Your Health Cohort 1 Week 5 Session 5: Talking with Your Healthcare Provider (online)
Activity Description:
This was the fifth online session of Upgrade Your Health, cohort 1. The session was designed to allow participants to be able to: 1. Identify at least 2 new strategies for getting the most out of visits with healthcare providers 2.
Activity Dates:
02/22/2019 to 02/28/2019
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Achievements:
Participants were able to ask questions of the instructor and converse with each other about their experiences talking with healthcare professionals. They were able to use language and ideas from the module to help guide the discussions and to complete course activities as outlined in the description section.
Upgrade Your Health Cohort 1 Week 5 Session 5: Talking with Your Healthcare Provider (in-person)
Activity Description:
This was the fifth in-person session of Upgrade Your Health, cohort 1. This was a mandatory in-person session. The session was designed to allow participants to be able to: 1. Identify at least 2 new strategies for getting the most out of visits with healthcare providers 2. Discuss why provider fit is important and how to make sure medical needs are filled by various healthcare clinicians 3.
Activity Dates:
02/27/2019
Activity Type:
Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops
Partner Organization(s):
Achievements:
Participants were able to ask questions of the instructor and converse with each other about their experiences talking with healthcare professionals. They were able to use language and ideas from the module to help guide the discussions.
Final Report
Approaches and Interventions Used:

The following chart is an outline of goals and objective for Upgrade Your Health as well as activities the program used to accomplish each goal and how staff contributed to the project. Our poster for recruitment is also shown below.

Goals/Objectives Activities to Accomplish Staff Contributions
Develop an engaging, accessible, 6-week curriculum focusing on crucial health and wellness topics and featuring NLM and NNLM resources.
  • Create course outline
  • Collect content appropriate for course outline (including NLM and NNLM content)
  • Develop online and in-person session lesson plans that cover course outline and content collected and developed
  • The wellness coordinator helped create the course outline based on the grant deliverables and her expertise with the subject matter
  • The adult education supervisor developed activities and lesson plans for the online and in-person sessions  and created course content for both models of instructional delivery
  • The director supervised all activities and helped set timelines for completion
  • Interns helped research content topics and create voice overs for instructional videos
Recruit and enroll 50 students across two 6-week courses.
  • A flyer was created to get the word out
  • Advertisements for the program were put out in a city-wide adult education newsletter and open access internet centers
  • Advertisements also went out in our agency monthly staff newsletter
  • Staff promoted the program when visiting other agencies or classes or city-wide meetings
  • The director created and dispersed flyers throughout the agency (department meetings, the agency website and community boards) and was instrumental in getting the word out to partner agencies throughout the city
  • The adult education supervisor presented the program at events they attended and classes they visited
  • The library supervisor displayed flyers in the space and staff helped folks register for the program
Get 80% of students will be retained and have an increase in knowledge on health and wellness topics
  • All online modules addressed a health and wellness issue
  • Students completed assignments and quizzes that involved using content learned to successfully complete
  • The adult education instructor played a large role in developing the online modules and facilitating in-person sessions where content material could be clarified as needed
Expose participants to a wide variety of technology to support their health management including desktop computers, smartphones and Fitbits.
  • Classroom computer lab was made available weekly for students to use specifically for Upgrade Your Health
  • The Critical Path Learning Center is open 5 days per week and is another space equipped with laptops and tablets where Upgrade participants could work on their class material
  • Fitbits were given to those who completed the course and support on how to use and maintain the devices was part of the class content
  • The adult education instructor was present during the weekly lab hours to answer questions and help participant through the LMS as needed
  • Critical Path Learning Center staff directed participants to staff members with knowledge of Upgrade when help was needed or assisted participants themselves when questions about technology or accessing health information were asked by participants
Have 80% of participants completing the course demonstrate measurable skills gains in the use of digital health management and information tools.
  • Designed activities and quizzes within the course content to measure skill gains
  • The adult education supervisor developed much of the class content and assessment tools and monitored skills gains through built in data collection from the LMS

Promotional Flyer
upgradeyourhealthflyer_PhiladelphiaFIGHT.png
 

Problems or Barriers Encountered:

Barriers we encountered while working toward the objective of Upgrade Your Health included:

Recruitment and retention

  • We had much interest in the program; however schedules did not always align and many prospective participants had other obligations or priorities that affected their ability to participate.

Staffing

  • During the beginning of the project, our wellness coordinator changed roles within the organization, which shifted some duties for the project. Our digital literacy instructor who would have been instrumental in facilitating in-person and online class sessions left the agency for another job, so some shifting had to happen for classes to be scheduled.

Key staff had to learn how to use the learning management system (LMS) in a short amount of time

  • This was probably the biggest learning curve for staff.
Scheduling conflicts
  • We had staff changes and turnover that affected how often and at what times Upgrade Your Health could be offered resulting is less flexibility of scheduling than we would have liked. Prospective participants, in some cases, had scheduling barriers of their own.
Evaluation:

The project had good outcomes despite not reaching its goal of recruiting and retaining 50 participants through two 6-week cohorts. We tried to offer additional class times including running to concurrent cohorts in the morning and afternoon. We also tried recruiting through organizations that had a far reach into the broader Philadelphia area. Many more people signed up for the program than attended the first day of class. Often, prospective participants cited scheduling conflicts, illness, or other barriers as reasons they could not participate in a cohort. From a program perspective, we had staff changes and turnover that affected how often and at what times Upgrade Your Health could be offered resulting is less flexibility of scheduling than we would have liked. Although, we did not reach 50 participants, we did meet several goals based on the number of individuals who completed the program.

Objective 1.1: Develop an engaging, accessible, 6-week curriculum focusing on crucial health and wellness topics and featuring NLM and NNLM resources.

  • Outcome:
    • A finalized curriculum containing 12 lessons, 6 of which are targeted toward in-person use, and 6 of which can be delivered via an online learning management system (LMS).
  • Outcome measure:
    • Lesson plans
    • Online content
  • Status at final report: 
    • Lesson plans competed
    • All online course content completed and populated to Talent LMS

Objective 1.2: Recruit and enroll 50 students across two 6-week courses. 

  • Outcome:
    • 50 students enrolled
    • Two rounds of the course run during project period
  • Outcome measure:
    • Registration logs from online LMS
    • Attendence records
  • Status at final report: 
    • 22 people enrolled in the course
    • 3 rounds of cohorts ran during the project period
    • Cohort 1 ran independently
    • Cohorts 2a and 2b ran concurrently at different times so that more people could attend sessions

Objective 1.3: 80% of students will be retained and have an increase in knowledge on health and wellness topics.

  • Outcome:
    • At least 40 students will complete 10 sessions or more of the 12-session course.
    • At least 40 students will demonstrate measureable gains in health and wellness knowledge.
  • Outcome measure:
    • Attendence records
    • NNLM Training Evaluation form
    • Pre- and Post-assessments
  • Status at final report: 
    • Overall retention for both cohorts was 82% (or 18 people completing at least 10 sessions of the course)
    • 100% of survey respondents (14) indicated learning a new skill around health and wellness knowledge and finding health related resources online.
    • The average overall test score was 92% for all online assessments, indicating that all 18 students gained in health knowledge.

Objective 2.1: Students will be exposed to a variety of technology to support their health management including desktop computers, smart phones, and FitBits.

  • Outcome:
    • Curriculum includes digital literacy concepts and opportunities to practice using each type of device.
  • Outcome measure:
    • Lesson plans
  • Status at final report: 
    • Lesson plans completed and include key digital literacy concepts such as computer fundamentals and finding good health information online.
    • Designated and open computer lab time was provided for all students participating in the program.
    • 18 students received Fitbits and learned how to install Fitbit software to their phones, care for the Fitbit and track and read health statistics from the device.

Objective 2.2: Students will be exposed to a variety of applications, websites, and online health resources to support their own health and wellness.

  • Outcome:
    • Curriculum has instructional content that supports students to learn about high-quality electronic health information.
  • Outcome measure:
    • Lesson plans
  • Status at final report: 
    • Lesson plans completed and include an online module on finding good health information and an in-person session on using wearable technology and apps to track health statistics

Objective 2.3: 80% of students completing the courses will demonstrate measurable skill gains in the use of digital health management and information tools.

  • Outcome:
    • At least 40 students will demonstrate measure skill gains in using digital health management tools by the end of the course.
  • Outcome measure:
    • NNLM Survey
    • Pre- and post-skills assessment
  • Status at final report: 
    • All 14 survey respondents reported that they increased their ability to find health information online.
    • All 18 course completers demonstrated at least one improved digital skill throughout the course of the program.
Continuation Plans:

The Upgrade Your Health course is currently running a third cohort that will be completed by the beginning of June 2019. Because course content is easily editable through the learning management system and staff continue to learn more about effective and engaging use of the learning management system, we plan to incorporate this program (both in-person and online sessions and visits by medical providers) into our cadre of regularly scheduled digital literacy course offerings. We will continue to offer Fitbits until they run out or we find other funding to purchase more. We will use the same partner agencies and organizational structures to promote and support the program. We have also scheduled a culminating Mural Arts Walk for all participants to join together, learn about art in the city, and use their Fitbits to track our activity during the walk. If this is a hit, we will continue to use it as a final activity for the class.

There are plans, contingent upon grant funding, to replicate and expand this project in the future. Our education department recently applied to a grant through the Philadelphia Foundation that will include Upgrade Your Health as a component of a larger health literacy and wellness curriculum. The curriculum will include several other health and wellness learning initiatives including workshop style training sessions and information on chronic disease management. The program will be designed sequentially with participants being able to choose various levels of engagement based on their health and/or learning needs.

Lessons Learned:

We did not expect that students would embrace learning online as much as they did. It probably helped that we offered in-person sessions to coincide with each online module. Even so, students reported enjoying and learning from online instruction.

Advice for programs that would like to model Upgrade Your Health at their organizations would include making sure to choose an intuitive and user friendly learning management system and make sure course outline, curriculum and lesson plans are thought out well in advance to when the classes are set to begin. The more preparation given, the better the learning modules are. Also, flexibility and constant adjustments to online modules and lesson delivery are keys to success. As with any teaching, changing lesson plans based on student feedback and what happens in the classroom is important for continual course improvement. It was important in this project as well.

Collaboration with colleagues was also instrumental in implementing this project. Several staff members became subject matter experts and the course designer relied upon each person’s expertise to complete modules accurately. Having access to medical providers for participants to interact with was one of the best features of the program as participants had a means for practicing asking more effective questions of health care providers in real time.

As we continue to offer this program, we will more than likely update learning modules to make them more robust where needed and add any new information that should be presented on the various topics included in the course. We will also add some modules around nutrition as we received requests from participants for that kind of information to be included in the coursework.

Impact:
Project Impact Upgrade Your Health was offered primarily to low-income participants with at least one chronic health disease. Based on anecdotal survey results, participants plan to use various information presented through the coursework in numerous ways. For example, one participant stated that: “I plant to use the websites that help explain different illnesses and medicines and to write questions down [for] when I see the doctor.” Another participant simply stated: “I plan on using the info that I learned to try and manage a healthier lifestyle.” Other participants noted that they would bring family members with them to medical appointments to get the most information or that they would like to try using patient portals to help them get refills on their recurring prescriptions. Another said he would use his Fitbit to track his sleep and report the data to his doctor so they could better understand what might be affecting his poor sleep. As an educational department within a health organization, it is clear that Upgrade Your Health has helped us deliver our mission of improving the quality of wellness for our participants. It has also helped us further our mission to be at the intersection of digital literacy and health initiatives. Student Success Story FS began the Upgrade Your Health! program after participating in various workshops offered through the Critical Path Learning Center. Upgrade Your Health is the first time FS attended a multi-session program at the Center. FS said he loves the classes “because I’m eager to learn.” He went on to highlight how several of the basic internet searching skills featured in one of the modules helped him do better research and encouraged him to seek other learning opportunities online, such as learning how to speak Spanish on the internet. FS was surprised to learn how much walking he actually does and said that his Fitbit “came at the perfect time” as he is trying to quit smoking. Instead of having a cigarette, he tries to record more steps on his Fitbit. He is trying to increase how long he walks and hopes to “reverse aging and stay physically fit. Since I don’t have enough money to pay for a gym membership, this is my gym thing.” Sharing Lessons Learned We would like to present our project’s lesson learned at the 2020 Adult Education Technology Conference, which will take place in Philadelphia in May of next year.