Delivery & Scheduling of the Course

Q: I would like other staff to complete the training...Can you offer more sessions ?

A:We have been offering the course three times per year, and plan to add a fourth session for 2006-07. Limited availability of the instructors is the main reason why the course hasn't been offered more often, together with the costs of travel and room rental at sites outside of Albany. Behind the scenes, there are many logistical details that are time-consuming, including registration. For a new location, simply finding a venue with a suitable computer training lab often takes considerable time.

Q: Can you offer a session just for my county ?

A:Our number one priority has been to reach all counties, either by offering the course to one staff member or a small LHD team. Some counties with an expressed interest in receiving the training have not yet participated. The capacity limitations identified in the answer above make it particularly challenging to restrict a training for just one county. We will, however, do everything practical to support you in offering the course for your agency. Part of the strategy in encouraging local teams is to enable the attendees to deliver the course (or selected modules) to other staff in their agency. To assist you, we now make the slides available on this page and provide links to the websites used during the labs on finding data and searching the literature.

Q: Can you offer the course to non-profit agencies / community-based organizations (CBOs)?

A:We have had a few CBO personnel attend previous sessions as part of the local health department team. Because LHDs often work with other local organizations as partners, we encourage LHDs to invite their partners to attend with them. This coming year we will open up the training to all-CBO teams for the first time. A limited number of seats will be held in reserve for CBOs in each session until the application cut-off (usually 2 weeks before the session.)

Q: Larger sessions would accommodate more people. Why do you limit each session to 24 participants?

A:There are several reasons. In many locations, the availability of computers at the training facility is limited. From our experience, 24 is the maximum number of students who can be supported effectively in computer lab sessions. More generally, we want to keep the group size manageable to maximize your learning experience. For group exercises on Day 2, we have limited the numbers of groups so that we can review the results of each exercise, such as the logic models developed, and provide the appropriate feedback. Throughout the course, we want to afford everyone ample opportunity to have their questions answered or make suggestions and observations about material covered. This 'formula' has proven successful to date, so we are reluctant to change it. However, we have occasionally accommodated one or two additional people if there was a compelling reason and the computer lab was large enough.

Registration Issues

Q: I sent my registration before the deadline, but was closed out of the session. Why?

A:We operate strictly on a 'first-come, first-served' basis. With only one exception, we have had more registration requests for every session than we could accommodate. So, undoubtedly the maximum number of people had already registered for the session before your registration was received.

Ongoing Support

Q: Can you provide a 'bulletin board' where we can post questions and share experiences in implementing EBPH ?

A:The University web server we use does not offer this kind of functionality. If there is sufficient interest, we could investigate the feasibility of leasing access to a commercial Internet Service Provider. It would not be an ideal solution. At this time, you are welcome to send us questions at the following email address: mailto:sphprc@albany.edu?subject=Questions and Answers. We will answer as quickly as possible, and post items we think are of general interest here.

Q: Do you have plans to offer a successor course to this one which would present selected content areas in greater depth or new topics not covered in the current course?

A:We would consider it but we're not sure what such a course would include. What content would you like to see in that course? Send your suggestions here: mailto:sphprc@albany.edu?subject=EBPH 102

Questions about individual modules:

Module 6 Logic Model & Program Planning

Q: What software do you use/recommend for creating logic models ?

A:For Mac users, OmniGraffle Pro is excellent. The upgrade to the Pro version is well-worth it. That is what we used, for example, to develop the large Prevention Research Center model.
    For Windows users, Visio Professional is probably the most widely known flow-charting package. Basic Visio is included in the MS-Office 2003 package. We suggest trying that out before investing in the Pro version. There are other packages out there as well. If you have had a good experience with another Windows package, we'd like to know about it to share with others. Please send us a note here: mailto:sphprc@albany.edu?subject=Software
    The most important features to look for are usually included in flow-charting programs-- (1) You absolutely need a vector-graphics package, not a bit-mapped 'paint' program like PaintShop or PhotoShop. (2) Objects need to be connected dynamically. That is, when you connect two text boxes with an arrow, the arrow should stay connected when you drag either box to a new location. (In a basic drawing program, you would have to manually adjust each connected arrow after moving a box.) There is a LOT of trial-and-error in arranging everything to fit on a page, so both of these features are important.
    Beyond these basics, it is a matter of finding a package that feels 'intuitive' to you and offers a lot of flexibilty in formatting both text and drawn shapes.

Module 7 Evaluation

Q: I would like to have more content on practical approaches to program evaluation.

A:This request has been put forth by a number of participants. We have added content to the Evaluation model in response. In recent EBPH-LHP sessions, we have included two exercises after the evaluation lecture: (1) a video clip showing a "5-a-Day" intervention, followed by discussion about evaluation issues raised; and (2) an exercise in which groups return to their logic models to identify monitoring/evaluation techniques they could employ in these projects. These additions have been very well-received by recent groups. Thank you for helping to improve this module.