Online Learning Toolkit

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"At no time in the history of medicine has the growth in knowledge and technologies been so profound... (But) research... reveals a health care system that frequently falls short in its ability to... apply new technology... If the health care system cannot consistently deliver today's science and technology, we may conclude that it is even less prepared to respond to the extraordinary scientific advances that will surely emerge in the first half of the 21st century."

-- Institute of Medicine, 2001a:2-3

The following resources have been compiled by the Health Information Group to assist in the development of distance learning materials.

These resources are not meant to be exhaustive, but highlight the key topics in distance learning as well as Web site design, usability, and accessibility as it relates to online learning.

Distance Learning Resources

Web Site Design

Web Site and Distance Learning Copyright

Oral Health

Web Site Accessibility

IT and Internet Access and Use

Distance Learning Resources

Casebeer, LL, Strasser, SM, Spettel, CM, et al. 2003. "Designing Tailored Web-Based Instruction to Improve Practicing Physicians' Preventive Practices." Journal of Medical Internet Research 5(3): available online at

Distance Learning Inventory. Funded by the Training Branch of MCHB, this site contains information about distance education materials developed by MCHB-supported training projects. The searchable Web site is targeted to practicing public health professionals, teachers, and students of public health.

Horton, W. 2000. Designing Web-Based Training: How to Teach Anyone Anything Anywhere Anytime. New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc. Design guidelines, examples, sample templates, and other resources are available at the Designing Web-Based Training Companion Web Site.

Horton, W and Horton, K. 2003. E-Learning Tools and Technologies. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. Design guidelines, examples, sample templates, and other resources are available at the E-Learning Tools and Technologies Companion Web Site.

Lee, WW and Owens, DL. 2004. Multimedia-Based Instructional Design: Computer-Based Training; Web-Based Training; Distance Broadcast Training; Permormance-Based Solutions, 2nd Edition. New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc. Table of Contents and excerpts are available online at

Miller, MJ. 2005. Usability in e-Learning. American Society for Training and Development: available online at

Procton, RW, Kim-Phuong, LV. 2004. Handbook of Human Factors in Web Design. "The Basics of E-Learning" excerpt available online at

IT and Internet Access/Use Resources

Bush, NE, Boen, DJ, Wooldridge, J, et al. 2004. "What Do We Mean by Internet Access? A Framework for Health Researchers." Preventing Chronic Disease: Public health Research, Practice, and Policy 1(4): available online at

Sorensen, AA. 2001. "Promoting Public Health Through Electronic Media: A Challenge for Schools of Public Health." American Journal of Public Health 91(8):1183-1185.

MCH Training Resources

Alexander, GR, Petersen, DJ, Pass, MA, et al. 2001 Graduate and Continuing Education Needs in Maternal and Child Health: Report of a National Needs Assessment, 2000-2001. Birmingham, AL: Maternal and Child Health Leadership Skills Training Institute. Available online at (select link for "Graduate and Continuing Education Needs in MCH").

MCH Training Program. This Web site provides information on the Training Program as well as an interactive map of currently funded MCHB-funded projects and links. An overarching Web site with sub-sites (e-Learning, workgroups, nutrition, LEAH grantees, Pediatric Pulmonary Centers) designed to assist MCHB training grantees to make better use of information technology.

Train National. Provided by the Public Health Foundation, this site lists online courses, materials, reviews, and discussion groups focused on public health topics.

Web Site Accessibility Resources

Section 508 Web site. Section 508 requires that Federal agencies' electronic and information technology is accessible to people with disabilities. The Center for Information Technology Accommodation (CITA), in the U.S. General Services Administration's Office of Governmentwide Policy, has been charged with the task of educating Federal employees and building the infrastructure necessary to support Section 508 implementation. Using this web site, Federal employees and the public can access resources for understanding and implementing the requirements of Section 508.

HRSA Accessibility Guidelines. HRSA’s recommendations for making Web pages 508-compliant.  They are not meant to limit developers or discourage other techniques, and are subject to change when new solutions/technology become available.

Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). WAI, in coordination with organizations around the world, pursues accessibility of the Web through five primary areas of work: technology, guidelines, tools, education and outreach, and research and development.

Bright Futures at Georgetown University Accessibility. An example of a university-based, MCHB-funded project's accessibility statement.

Web Site and Distance Learning Copyright Resources

Intellectual Property, Copyright, and Distance Learning Links. Extensive links to online resources provided by a collaboration of the University of North Carolina and MCB University Press.

Bright Futures at Georgetown University Copyright, Content, Disclaimers, and Privacy Policies. An example of a university-based, MCHB-funded project's copyright policies, content and links disclaimers, copyright permission policies, and privacy of usage data.

Web Site Design Resources

Neilsen Norman Group

DHHS Research-Based Web Design and Usability Guidelines

Draft US Web Design Standards web portal

HHS Web Standards and Usability Guidelines

Guidelines to Building a Responsive Web Design