The Pacific Open Learning Health Net (POLHN) has established a registered online platform to host health and health-related Online Courses (OCs). These are made available to health workers, clinicians, public health practitioners and other users at no fee via the internet, and are electronically stored and printed wherever possible. The platform also enables health partners with the desire to support health workforce development to use their expert resources to develop and host OCs.
Therefore, POLHN invites universities and institutions to enter into partnership. The intention of this is to further develop pathways for Pacific Island health workers to access high quality health education from top tier universities.
POLHN is a blend between digital networks and physical infrastructure developed to bridge the gaps between geographically dispersed health workers in Pacific island countries and to address their growing needs for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). It was initiated in 2003 in partnership with the World Health Organisation, the Government of Japan and Pacific Ministers of Health.
POLHN develops and shares appropriate non-credited and accredited curricula through various collaborative partners. These include health professionals, service providers, professional bodies, healthcare organisations, and education and research entities providing equal CPD and cross-learning opportunities to health workers.
POLHN currently links more than 30,000 health workers – including 10,000 from Pacific island countries and areas to more than 10,000 non-accredited short courses. It also offers sponsorship for around 10 specialised online accredited postgraduate programs from partner universities.
POLHN’s open knowledge sharing effort allows health workers to learn without causing any additional financial burden.
• Online modules: can be accessed from POLHN website via mobile phones, tablets and desktops;
• Offline modules: downloadable courses for offline use;
• Partner offered courses: free-to-take e-learning courses developed under creative commons licence for health workers; and
• Collaborative university facilitated programmes: accredited university programme via distance flexible learning.
Together with these mechanisms, the presence of 52 POLHN e-learning centres in 15 Pacific island countries and a cordial relationship with ministries of health enables POLHN to assist health workers to bridge technical barriers to learning and development. This includes development of knowledge, motivation and computer literacy.
POLHN’s vision is to achieve e-learning excellence for a better Pacific health workforce. Through online education and collaborative partnerships, it is able to develop health workers with a sustainable and responsive skill mix, without causing financial burden.
• To establish a collaborative partnership with universities;
• To develop a pathway for Pacific health workers to access high quality health education from top tier universities; and
• To provide undisrupted continuing professional course access to the registered users without any financial implication.
This proposal aims to engage universities to design and develop high standard interactive online and offline academic modules and assessments for the purpose of improving the Pacific health workforce. This development can occur in the following areas:
- Non-accredited CPD health topics: developing online health related courses (from existing university contents) for the sole purpose of university social corporate responsibility;
- Verified CPD online courses: developing and delivering independent and/or linking pay-to-print courses to prepare health workers to meet the entry requirements for the university structured DFL courses. This can include, for example, sets of courses that mature students can pursue to demonstrate their English literacy, thereby exemplifying their commitment and ability to gain entry into university structured distance flexible learning (DFL) courses; and
- Accredited online courses: developing and delivering high quality modules for POLHN’s structured and accredited programme. The students will be required to:
I. Apply for the enrolment;
II. Apply for POLHN sponsorship via individual learning and development committees based out of the relevant Ministries of health;
III. Achieve a B average in every unit sponsored by POLHN (POLHN will be able to assist with facilitating in-country mentors and exam invigilators).
Any university or institution may submit a course proposal.
Proposals will be processed in three waves. The deadline for each of these is as follows:
1. 2 March, 2018
2. 1 June, 2018
3. 7 September, 2018
Workshops and consultation
We encourage universities who intend to submit a proposal to schedule a teleconference with POLHN. We are happy to help you develop ideas and revise your course proposal. Feel free to communicate directly with Mohammed Yasin (email here)
The proposal document must include all of the following components:
1. Course title;
2. General subject area(s);
3. Name of instructor (multiple instructors are permitted); and
4. A 1- 2 page pitch with an overview of the proposed course, describing its rationale, subject matter and general approach, intended audience, and level of difficulty.
Syllabus (1 – 2 pages)
The syllabus should include the following:
1. Course breakdown – number of weeks, modules, or sections; and
2. Clear description of the preferred breakdown (readings, and assignments or other activities);
Production needs and timeline
Submit a detailed (1-2 page) list with a statement of all the instructional material needed to develop for the course. This includes instructional videos, multimedia and visualisations. Also mention an estimated timeline for producing all of the course materials.
All content developed by the university will be regulated under the university’s own intellectual property policy. This includes photo, logos, branding and names. POLHN normally arranges a formal agreement whereby parties will not use the other party’s content, design, name, acronym and/or emblem without the prior written consent of that other party.
Proposal review criteria
POLHN will use the following criteria in selecting the proposal:
• Purpose of the course;
• Uniqueness of the course;
• Learner engagement;
• Professional development and enhancement;
• Potential linkage to higher credentials; and
• Potential of university involvement in Pacific health workforce development.
POLHN will provide following support:
• Development of course modules;
• Designing and developing of online interactive modules;
• Hosting and maintenance of the course; and
• Promoting and marketing.
For more information on POLHN partnerships, please contact Mr Mohammed Yasin (email here).