Online Course on Health Literacy and Communication

University of Nebraska and Coursera are offering an online course for a variety of health professionals to educate them about health literacy efforts and improved communication skills.

Through this course applicants get an opportunity which they haven’t got before, to reinforce existing opportunities to work together as a multidisciplinary team or to fill a gap.

After the completion of this course, applicants will be able to:

-Define and describe health literacy and how it applies to all health disciplines;
-Explain the various factors/social determinants that influence health literacy;
-Determine the stakeholders in health literacy and their roles;
-Recognize the consequences of limited health literacy;
-Identify the impact health literacy makes in meeting core health service needs across disciplines;
-Apply strategies to improve health literacy at the group, organizational, community, and policy levels.

The objective of this course is to make participants understand their responsibility to work as a part of an inter-professional health care team. This course also focuses on the approaches that aim at becoming a health literate health care organization by taking help of scenarios by means of actors based on patient experiences, by letting them share their words and by offering some improvements in health communication.

Course Begins

This course will start from October 19, 2014.

Duration of the Course

The duration of this course is 8 weeks and students are required to contribute 3 – 6 hours per week. This course will be taught in English followed by English subtitles.

Course Field

This course will introduce students to Health Literacy and Communication for Health Professionals

Course Syllabus

The course consists of the following eight modules:
-Literacy: Its role in health care organizations
-Initiation: Preparing the health care workforce
-They: Who are we serving?
-Equipped: Using the best tools for communication
-Results: Evaluating our efforts
-Access: Providing plain information
-Transferring Information: Using the best channels
-Essential Skills: Communicating high risk and care transitions

Course Format

The course provides many resources for your reference and there are online documents, online trainings, and online audio/video files that they incorporate; all of which are either in the public domain or have granted permission to be used for this course.

The framework for the course is based on these core resources:
-Healthy People 2020
-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Training Course “Health Literacy for Public Health Professionals”
-Institute of Medicine’s discussion paper, “Ten Attributes of Health Literate Health Care Organizations” (2012)
-National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy (2010)
-The Calgary Charter on Health Literacy: Rationale and Core Principles for the Development of Health Literacy Curricula (2008)

In addition to these quality resources, this course incorporates:

-Weekly video lectures
-Video vignettes based on actual patient experiences to demonstrate examples of both poor and improved health information communication exchanges (scripted actors)
-‘On-the-street’ intercept interviews with student volunteers from a variety of health care disciplines (“pre-professionals”)
-Interviews with health professional faculty (guided discussions)
-Patient perspectives; patient experiences in their own words
-Standardized patient focus groups (facilitated discussions)

Students will be asked to participate in discussion forums, complete a quiz for each module, and complete multiple peer reviewed assessments throughout the course.


Students who are interested in Health Literacy and Communication can go for this course.

About the Instructor

Dr. Denise H. Britigan, PhD, MA, CHES

She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Promotion, Social and Behavioral Health in the Harold M. and Beverly Maurer Center for Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska.

Analisa McMillan, MSEd

She is an Instructional Designer in the Office of the Dean at The University of Nebraska College of Public Health.

For more information go through this link.