Factors to consider: Curriculum issues

Health instructor in SenegalProgram length
How long should each program be? Are the program lengths realistic given country resources and the immediacy of need for graduates? Keep in mind that there is a general expectation that the longer the program the higher the postgraduation wage will be.

Cadres or specializations
What cadres or specializations for health informatics personnel are needed (e.g., data entry technicians, database managers, hardware technicians, programmers, statisticians, analysts, managers, policy-makers)? What are their job descriptions? What knowledge, skills, and competencies should each develop? Ensure that there is a common vocabulary and some knowledge overlap so the various cadres can work well together.

Pedagogy methods
How will the programs be taught? For example what will be the mix among lectures, projects, labs, internships/practicums, or team training with other cadres? Will courses be taught face-to-face, remotely, or in modular form? If internships or practicums are planned, are there a sufficient number of sites and will preceptors need to be trained or compensated?

Program curriculum
What does each cadre need to be taught and to what depth? Is the content relevant to country realities?

Educational materials
Are there acceptable materials that cover the topics included in the curriculum? The unavailability of relevant textbooks and other learning materials may be a hindrance in establishing a successful program. What are the potential sources of materials, and are they relevant to the context of this particular course?

What are the qualifications needed for the various instructors? Ensure that qualifications are realistic given country resources. Consider making use of part-time instructors, including health informatics professionals in the private sector. Keep in mind that for some classes expertise in information technology may be more important than health expertise.

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