Sustainable lifestyle and health from a public health perspective
OnE LEARNS: Online Education for LEAdeRs in Nutrition and Sustainability
The overall aim of the project is to increase knowledge and awareness of the global sustainability goals focusing on the potential of online education and how it can be used to increase digital health literacy and promote good health in general and child nutrition in particular. Government officials and NGO in Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia working with education, agriculture, health and social welfare and will build institutional capacity by participating in an online program mixed with interactive sessions with faculty at Mälardalen University (MDH) and Royal Institute of Technology (KTH).
Project manager at MDH
State-of-the-art when it comes to online training is based on research in the Open Learning Initiative (OLI) at Carnegie Mellon University, US. Within OLI, researchers have shown that question-based learning (QBL) with online support can reduce learning time by 50%, with similar or improved results, at midterms and finals. On campus, the methodology is used in a flipped classroom setting, but it is also used for online courses. Nowadays, OLI courses are being used at ≈ 1.000 colleges and universities in the US, but the spread outside North America is limited. KTH has piloted the methodology since 2017 in Sweden. Over the last few years, case-control studies from Carnegie Mellon University, US, have been replicated at KTH and shown a reduction of study time with 25% while maintaining the same test results. Thus, the methodology works in various contexts and cultures.
Here we will take advantage of the QBL methodology to design a state-of-the-art training program for government officials and NGO in Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia in order to facilitate for them to act proactively to combat major public health issues, including malnutrition, stunting and micronutrient deficiencies, how to improve overall health among children and mothers as well as to promote the importance of education and health literacy.
The project is grounded in the global sustainability goals
Agenda 2030 comprises 17 goals, divided into 169 sub-goals. Many of these sub-goals are strongly related to education, health and the food system. Our project goals are in line with six out of seventeen sustainable development goals as follows: goal 2 (food security, improved nutrition and promotion of sustainable agriculture), goal 3 (ensuring healthy lives and promotion of well-being for all at all ages), goal 4 (inclusive and equitable quality education and promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all), goal 8 (promotion of an inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all), goal 12 (ensuring of sustainable consumption and production patterns) and goal 17 (strengthening the means of implementation and revitalization of the global partnership for sustainable development).
Aim of the project
The overall aim is to increase knowledge and awareness of the global sustainability goals focusing on the potential of online education and how it can be used to increase digital health literacy and promote good health in general and child nutrition in particular.
The online training program targets government officials and NGO in Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia working with education, agriculture, health and social welfare and will build institutional capacity. The program includes three modules linked to the global sustainability goals in Agenda 2030:
- Module 1: Demonstrate the pros and cons of online learning in general and QBL methodology in particular. KTH is responsible for this module and it will be developed in cooperation with Carnegie Mellon University.
- Module 2: Introduces concepts of digital health literacy and how they apply to the public and private sectors. KTH is responsible for this module.
- Module 3: Explaining the development of the global sustainability goals, and the importance of child and maternal nutrition to promote improved public health. Mälardalen University will take the lead on this module.
The first version of the online training program will be offered to government officials and NGO in Rwanda and Ethiopia during the spring of 2021, and involves online material, as well as interactive workshops and group assignments with faculty from MDH and KTH. Also, the program is given in close collaboration with the Swedish Institutet. Experiences from the program will enrich the learning environment at the Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD levels at MDH and will be documented in the form of scientific publications and conferences.