Project Spotlight: NCCDH Free Health Equity eLearning Course

August 4, 2020

Health equity is accomplished when every person has the opportunity to achieve their full health potential.. While Canada has made great strides towards achieving health equity, the reality is that a gap between those who are most and least healthy still exists. One of the remedies for this disparity is education. PathWise partnered with the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health (NCCDH) to create a free eLearning course to address this need. 

Creating a Free Health Equity eLearning Course

NCCDH reviewed what was available in the public health sector on health equity and saw the need for an introductory course on the topic in Canada. They partnered with Public Health Ontario (PHO) to create a free, jointly branded, self-directed online introductory course that would be available on PHO’s online learning platform. PathWise was brought in to execute this vision.

Still image from NCCDH Health Equity course

PathWise has been creating socially-minded, service-based eLearning courses for many years. In fact, we love helping organizations whose mission is to uplift and to make the world a safer, more just place, and the PathWise team was ready and eager to jump into this project! 

Engagement Through Storytelling

Experience has shown us that framing information through the lens of a character can significantly increase learner engagement. So, we decided to structure each of the course’s five modules around the experiences of a fictional public health nurse and health equity leader named Tanis. As Tanis strives to help her team better understand the concepts related to health equity, the course supplements the themes by sharing activities, facts, charts, and real-life interviews with public health experts from Canada and abroad, recorded specifically for the course. This approach keeps the course varied and relevant.

NCCDH characters and interviews

Sharing Across Language Barriers

Recognizing the need to have this course reach both English and French speaking health officials, PathWise worked with NCCDH to make sure all aspects implemented full French translations. This included graphics, PDFs, and the captioning within videos. Videos also included English and French speakers.

NCCDH Francaise

The course is also built to be fully accessible; after all, a course that focuses on equity that isn’t would be highly problematic. We built PDF versions of each course module to meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) as well as PHO’s accessibility standards. We also built alternate versions of specific course activities and included clear image descriptions (alt text) to ensure screen-reader compatibility and better accessibility.

Delivering a Successful Final Product

“Big THANKS and recognition to my friends at PathWise Solutions. We have been working together for over a year on a very complex project. They operate with grace, patience, and respect. I especially appreciate their attention to detail and flexibility. Fantastic to work with.” – Dianne Oickle, NCCDH

The finished course that PathWise created with NCCDH is robust, interactive, and engaging. It has filled a void in the Canadian public health sector and is being used in many settings. Multiple agencies, experts, and individuals in the field were involved in generating feedback to refine the material, requiring patience, communication, and cooperation. 

For PathWise, the process of creating this course was complex but satisfying. We loved the final result and are so happy that the course is of service to this purposeful and passionate cause.