Blended-MPH Epidemiology degree at HSPH Evaluation: Harvard’s First Online Degree
What happens when world-class health practitioners across the globe show incredible promise but are unable to take a full year away from work to participate in a Residential Master’s in Public Health Program? At the T.H. Chan School of Public Health, they created a specialized blended program in order to accommodate these students.
2015-16 marked the first year of the new blended (online and residential) Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. The Bok Assessment team has been working with administrators, faculty, and curriculum and technology teams for each course in the program to assess the effectiveness of each course in the program and provide feedback on strengths and areas of improvement both for the course and the program as a whole. For the first cohort, we have evaluated seven courses (3 online and 4 residential), assessed the comparability of the Blended-MPH with residential MPH students in terms of admissions data, and conducted two mid program focus groups with students to get their perspective on how well the program is being implemented. We have begun the assessment of the second cohort with the evaluation of their admissions data and the first residential course.
Based on our feedback on Year 1, some of the courses have changed or plan on changing course videos, assignments, and modifying content. This year, both the preparatory course and the spring course have modified their syllabi to provide more background in statistical programming so the next cohort will have a more cohesive experience.
Blended Learning in the College
We evaluated four newly redesigned blended courses, which integrated HarvardX materials with face-to-face classroom methods. To assess the impact of these courses, we conducted surveys and focus groups. The courses differed dramatically on size, content, and how online and face-to-face components were implemented. The goal of the evaluations were to determine how well the courses worked in their first year as well as recommendations for how to improve future iterations of the courses. The findings of the evaluations were used to generate a set of recommendations that guide faculty when implementing a blended course.
An article on the blended course evaluations can be found here: