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Training Methods and Continuing Education for Health Workers

Summer 2005

A woman uses a flip chart to discuss family planning with a group of adolescent girls, women, and young men as part of the
©1998 CCP, Courtesy of Photoshare
A woman uses a flip chart to discuss family planning with a group of adolescent girls, women, and young men as part of the "Come Let's Talk" campaign in India.



Bill Brieger

Offered By

International Health


Course Description

This course in Training Methods and Continuing Education for Health Workers identifies the role of training and continuing education as an important component of health service and personnel management. Participants will be guided through the steps of planning training and continuing education activities for a range of health workers from managers to village volunteers. The course draws on real life examples from community-directed onchocerciasis control, village health worker programs, and patent medicine vendor training programs, to name a few.

As a final project, participants will prepare a training plan that includes needs assessment instruments, procedures for involving the trainees in their own learning, instructional objectives, appropriate learning methods and delivery modes, resource and budget needs, monitoring and evaluation mechanisms and follow-up supervision.

Participants may wish to use the training guide they develop for this course as a foundation for an MPH CAPSTONE project. Please contact the instructor for details.

Course Objectives

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to do the following:
  • Describe the role that training and continuing education play in personnel development and management.
  • Outline the contributions and limits of training in organizational management.
  • Explain the process of recruiting appropriate participants for a training program.
  • Identify and analyze tasks needed by trainees to perform their jobs.
  • Conduct a training needs diagnosis.
  • Utilize training diagnosis results to choose appropriate content for training programs.
  • Formulate observable and measurable instructional objectives.
  • Link training content with appropriate training methods.
  • Plan training logistics that are convenient for trainees and match available resources.
  • Budget for training activities.
  • Develop a sample training guide.
  • List approaches and resources for distance education.
  • Describe methods for monitoring the process of training implementation.
  • Define the different levels of evaluation for a training program.
  • Describe various tools for evaluating outcomes.


Recommended textbook: Lawson, Karen. The Trainer's Handbook (Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer) 0-7879-3991-9. Order from, or Matthews Johns Hopkins Medical Book Center (type in 221-606-81 as course number; alternatively, visit the book center at 1830 East Monument Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA; phone: 410.955.3931 and 800.266.5725; fax: 410.955.0576).

Course Requirements

Overview: The course assignments are a series of six related activities focused on the process of planning and developing a short, one-day training experience for real health and related staff. To successfully complete the assignments, you should select a real, identifiable group of agency staff or community volunteers that need training, and then complete each assignment based on the training needs of that group. You do not have to focus on your work situation specifically, but you may, for example, include community associations or NGOs where you do volunteer work. If in final analysis you do not feel that you can identify an appropriate set of trainees in any of the suggested settings, you are welcome to use the DOTS reference materials in the Online Library as an example for carrying out the assignments.

Assignment topics:

  1. Description of potential trainees
  2. Plan for diagnosing training needs
  3. Sample training objectives and tasks
  4. Training methods and resources
  5. Evaluation plan
  6. Full training guide


Module 1: An Organizational Context for Training
An Organizational Context for Training Lecture 1
Approaches to Training and Learning Lecture 2
Description of Potential Trainees Assignment 1
Module 2: Diagnosing Training Needs
Recruitment and Involvement of Trainees Lecture 3
Diagnosing Training Needs Lecture 4
Plan for Diagnosing Training Needs Assignment 2
Module 3: Planning for Training
Content and Objectives Lecture 5
Selecting Appropriate Training Methods Lecture 6
Material, Time, and Resources Lecture 7
Putting it All Together: The Training Guide Lecture 8
Sample Training Objectives and Tasks Assignment 3
Training Methods and Resources Assignment 4
SMART Objectives Quiz 1
Module 4: Managing Training
Distance Education for International Training Lecture 9
The Learning Climate: Organization, Flow, and Dynamics Lecture 10
Monitoring Implementation Lecture 11
Module 5: Evaluating Training
Evaluating Training Programs Lecture 12
Evaluation Plan Assignment 5
Training Methods and Implementation Quiz 2
Module 6: Training Follow-Up
Follow-up: Measuring Performance Lecture 13
The Process Continues Lecture 14
Replication of Training Programs Lecture 15
Full Training Guide Assignment 6   Tell A Friend