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October 25, 2005

Free Injury Course Content Made Available on the Internet

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health recently added the first injury course content to its growing OpenCourseWare program. Through OpenCourseWare, the Bloomberg School is putting some of its most popular courses online for interested self-learners, students and educators worldwide. The course content, which is free-of-charge, is not for credit. Twelve courses are currently online, with plans to make 70 courses available by 2008.

Courses range from refugee health care and statistical reasoning to terrorism training and international nutrition. The most recent course addition is “Confronting the Burden of Injuries: A Global Perspective.” It was designed by Adnan A. Hyder, MPH, PhD, and Maria Segui-Gomez, MD, MPH, MSc, ScD, both faculty affiliated with the School’s Center for Injury Research and Policy.

“OpenCourseWare is really a great opportunity for everyone involved. As do many of my colleagues, I work with public health researchers in developing countries on a regular basis. They just can’t afford to pay for courses; some don’t even have credit cards. So OpenCourseWare allows me to refer these individuals to the Internet where they can gain knowledge on topics they deeply care about without paying for it,” said Hyder, who is also an assistant professor in the Bloomberg School’s departments of International Health and Health Policy and Management.

Hyder said he believes one of the reasons his course was chosen for inclusion in OpenCourseWare is that it is easily comprehensible to those with no previous public health training. “There is no interaction with faculty while reviewing OpenCourseWare courses, so I would imagine that it would be difficult for a self-learner to review material that is extremely complicated or riddled with complex formulas. The ‘Burden of Injuries’ course is not only useful to clinicians, students, engineers, lawyers, etc., but it is also easily understood,” said Hyder.

OpenCourseWare was developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2001. In February 2005, the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Harvard University Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Tufts University and Utah State University met with MIT to develop their own OpenCourseWare plans. The OpenCourseWare project at the Bloomberg School of Public Health is supported by a $200,000 pilot grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Public Affairs media contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Kenna Lowe or Tim Parsons at 410-955-6878 or paffairs@jhsph.edu.