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Methods in Formative Research and Human Centered Design for Intervention Development

3rd term
International Health
4 credits
Academic Year:
2022 - 2023
Instruction Method:
Asynchronous Online with Some Synchronous Online
Auditors Allowed:
Undergrads Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructors:
Elli Leontsini

Introduction to Online Learning is required prior to participating in any of the School's Internet-based courses. A behavior change course such as 224.689, 221.688, 410.600, or similar, and a qualitative course such as 224.690, 410.710, 550.604 or similar; or consent of the instructor


Examines how to conduct formative research and human-centered design and apply its findings in the design, implementation, and evaluation of public health interventions. Prepares students with conceptual and methodological understanding that can be applied across a diverse range of public health traditions from social science to clinical research including implementation science, program evaluation, community diagnosis, and translational research. Presents and explores method case studies and the use of the data collected to develop tailored, more effective behavioral and community interventions, implementation models, and valid and reliable measurements. Discusses cross-cutting issues in study design, community entry and involvement, data sharing and use, as well as staff development and supervision. Presents and analyzes examples to include HIV and malaria prevention and control, Aedes aegypti control, and global maternal and child health care-seeking programs and services.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Formulate formative research and human centered design questions appropriate for each stage of intervention design and evaluation
  2. Identify appropriate guiding theories and methodologies, and integrate them into a formative research protocol
  3. Apply appropriate research methods to effectively answer formative research and human centered design questions and translate findings into subsequent phases of research and program implementation
  4. Prepare for coordinating a formative research or human-centered design component for application with partners, including capacity building, co-design and sharing of data with communities and partners in forums and meetings
  5. Review, learn and critique current theories and methodologies taken, and ways in which data are utilized, in selected case studies
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 15% Quizzes
  • 20% Discussion Board
  • 65% Final Paper

Instructor Consent:

Consent required for some students

Consent Note:

Consent is required if prerequisites are not met.

For consent, contact: