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close this bookTeacher's Guide on Basic Environmental Health (WHO, 1999, 327 p.)
close this folderPart One: Teaching environmental health
close this folderOrganizing a course or workshop
Open this folder and view contentsCurriculum development
Open this folder and view contentsTeaching facilities, equipment, materials
View the documentPreparation for teaching the course or workshop

Preparation for teaching the course or workshop

The following steps should be taken when preparing to teach the workshop:

Know your audience. As far as possible, determine who will be attending the course by collecting information such as job descriptions, educational background and experience, current level of understanding or skill in the topic to be studied, training needs and interests, problems and special concerns. This information will be useful in tailoring the course to the particular group’s needs as well as assessing whether there are potential obstacles to achieving the learning objectives. For example, the group may face certain problems that will affect how much they can apply what will be taught. Potential obstacles may be lack of materials or resources (computers, access to data, calculators) or institutional constraints (lack of support from supervisors, training issues are not a priority).

Strategies for assessing audience needs include:

- administer a pre-course questionnaire, survey or test (see sample, Annex 1);

- conduct pre-course interviews with selected participants;

- organize a focused group discussion among selected participants;

- observe workers on the job (for continuing education of professionals);

- administer a pre-course assignment, both to learn about participants’ skills and to obtain case material for the course;

- review written documents, such as academic records, test scores, recommendations, etc.

Adapt the course or training programme. Based on what you know about the participants, make any necessary changes in the programme to meet their particular needs. Identify local examples of environmental problems and potential interventions. If feasible, prepare slides or videos of these examples. Problem-solving exercises can be revised to reflect current events and real issues that participants will face.

Select the trainers (for workshops). Two instructors makes it easier to teach, more interesting for the participants, and allows for better supervision of small groups.

Make facility arrangements. Make arrangements for food and refreshments when appropriate.

Prepare resource materials and equipment. Prepare course handouts, collect resource books to be used in the classroom, as well as any sample equipment and audiovisual materials.

Send information to participants in advance. Ensure that students receive the Basic Environmental Health text or other materials that must be read in advance of a workshop. It is also useful to request written case studies from participants which illustrate success stories in environmental health management and/or unresolved challenges.

Arrange for a field visit. Identify a site where participants can observe environmental and occupational health hazards as well as effective prevention and control measures.