Course SyllabusSocial and Behavioral Health

Required readings
    Optional readings
      Peer Activities
        QuizzesAssignments
          DiscussionsQuestionnare

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          Social and Behavioral Health Homepage



          This course is a comprehensive introduction to theories, concepts, and models of Social and Behavioral Sciences and provides an opportunity to develop practical skills and knowledge in the topic. This Social and Behavioral Health course is sponsored by the University of the Incarnate Word and was developed in partnership with the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with special thanks to the volunteers at Public Health U (formerly Peoples-Uni) for their important contributions.  

          Like all NextGenU.org courses, this course is competency-based, using competencies from the ASPPH: MPH Core Competency Model, and CEPH, and uses learning resources from accredited, world-class organizations such as the Pan American Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and the World Health Organization. The course designers include Aalia Chatur, MPH; Andrea Ramirez, MD; Ashley Shaw, Ph.D.; Ellina Lytvyak; Karah Koleszar; Jamila Conliffe MPH; Hugo Andres Rojas Aldieri MD, MSc; Leohrandra Graham, MSc.; Madison Cox MSN, RN; Pablo Baldiviezo Rodriguez, MD; Sergio Arancibia, MD; and Valeria Reynolds, MD.

          For publications on NextGenU.org’s courses’ efficacy, see “A Novel Integration of Online and Flipped Classroom Instructional Models in Public Health Higher Education,” (2014), BMC Medical Education, “Building Public Health Capacity through Online Global Learning,” (2018), Open Praxis, or on NextGenU.org’s publication page. Subscribe to our newsletter to be notified of future updates, new courses, and to be part of our community.

          There are 5 modules to complete, which provide an introduction to:

          1. Introduction to Social and Behavioral Sciences
          2. Social and Behavioral Factors Affecting Health
          3. Public Health Ethics
          4. Social Behavioral Science Interventions
          5. Planning, Implementation & Evaluation of Public Health Programs, Policies, and Interventions

          The completion time for this course is estimated at  87 hours, comprising 14 hours of learning resources, 28 hours for study and assimilation, and 45 hours of participating in learning activities and quizzes, to assist the learners in the synthesis of learning materials. This course is equivalent to 2 credit hours.

          The course requires the completion of all case studies, peer activities, and discussion forums. At the end of each lesson, there is a practice quiz. At the end of the course, after you’ve completed each lesson, quiz, and learning activity, you’ll have access to a final exam, and a chance to evaluate this course. Once you’ve passed that last test, you will be able to download a certificate of completion from NextGenU.org and our course’s co-sponsoring organizations (listed above). We keep all of your personal information confidential, never sell any of your information, and only use anonymized data for research purposes, and we are also happy to report your testing information and share your work with anyone (your school, employer, etc.) at your request. 

          Engaging with this Course:

          You may browse this course for free to learn for your personal enrichment; there are no requirements. To register for this course, learners should have a college-level/bachelor's degree.  

          To obtain a certificate a learner must first register (see the register icon) and then successfully complete

          • all the reading requirements,
          • all quizzes and pass with a 70% with unlimited attempts,
          • all case studies,
          • all peer activities,
          • final assignment,
          • the final exam with a minimum of 70% and a maximum of 3 attempts, and
          • the self and course evaluation forms.

          To obtain credit 

          • complete all requirements listed above for the certificate, and
          • your learning institution or workplace should approve the partner-university-sponsored NextGenU.org course for educational credit, as they would for their learner taking a course anywhere.  

          NextGenU.org is happy to provide your institution with

          • a link to and description of the course training, so they can see all its components, including the cosponsoring universities and other professional organization cosponsors; 
          • your grade on the final exam;
          • your work products (e.g. case study activities), and any other required or optional shared materials that you produce and authorize to share with them;  
          • your evaluations -- course, and self-assessments;
          • a copy of your certificate of completion, with the co-sponsoring universities and other organizations listed.

          To obtain a degree, NextGenU.org co-sponsors degree programs with institutional partners. To obtain a full degree co-sponsored with NextGenU.org, registrants must be enrolled in a degree program as a student of a NextGenU.org institutional partner. If you think that your institution might be interested in offering a degree with NextGenU.org contact us.

          We hope that you will find this a rewarding learning experience, and we count on your assessment and feedback to help us improve this training for future students.

          Next Steps include:

          • Complete the registration form.
          • Take the pre-test.
          • Begin the course with Module 1: Introduction to Social and Behavioral Sciences. In each lesson, read the description, complete all required readings and any required activity, and take the corresponding quizzes.

          * This course is sponsored in part by the Annenberg Physician Training Program: Abstinence-based Recovery from Addictive Disease. Click here to see curricular threading related to substance use.

          Module 1: Introduction to Social and Behavioral Sciences

          Competencies covered in this module:
          • Identify the basic theories, concepts, and models from a range of social and behavioral disciplines that are used in public health research and practice.

          Module 1: Lesson 1: Core Concepts

          Student Learning Outcomes:
          • Describe the concept of social and behavioral sciences and the disciplines involved.
          • Summarize the fundamental theories and models used in public health practice and research.
          • Explain how essential theories, concepts, and models used in public health research and practice are linked to a variety of social and behavioral disciplines.
          Approximate time required for the readings for this lesson (at 144 words/minute): 4 hours and 21 minutes.


          Click here to start this lesson

          Module 2: Social and Behavioral Factors Affecting Health

          Competencies covered in this module:
          • Identify the causes of social and behavioral factors that affect the health of individuals and populations.
          • Describe the role of social and community factors in both the onset and solution of public health problems.

          Module 2: Lesson 1: Identifying Social and Behavioral Factors that Affect Health

          Student Learning Outcomes:
          • Explain how social factors and individual behaviors contribute to the health of an individual.
          • Explain the social and behavioral factors that affect population health.
          Approximate time required for the readings for this lesson (at 144 words/minute): 4 hours and 38 minutes.

          Click here to start this lesson

          Module 2: Lesson 2: Identifying Social and Community Factors that Affect Health

          Student Learning Outcomes:
          • Define an ecological model as it applies to social and behavioral health.
          • Describe the linkages between social and behavioral determinants of health at different levels of the ecological framework.
          • Identify community factors that influence public health.
          • Discuss how social, behavioral, environmental, and biological factors contribute to public health issues.
          • Understand the role and importance of social & community factors in addressing Public Health issues.
          • Explore strategies to solve public health problems that make use of social and community factors.
          Approximate time required for the readings for this lesson (at 144 words/minute): 9 hours and 39 minutes.

          Click here to start this lesson

          Module 3: Public Health Ethics

          Competencies covered in this module:
          • Apply ethical principles to public health program planning, implementation, and evaluation.

          Module 3: Lesson 1: Applying Ethical Principles in the Process of Intervention

          Student Learning Outcomes:
          • Discuss the principles of the Ethical Practice of Public Health as they relate to SBS interventions.
          • Examine the key issues in global health ethics relate to SBS.
          • State the role of the government in personal risk management.
          • Explain the role of human rights in public health.
          • Explain what is meant by personal freedom and the collective good.
          • Assess the tension between personal freedom and the collective good using ethical principles as a framework.
          Approximate time required for the readings for this lesson (at 144 words/minute): 6 hours and 12 minutes.

          Click here to start this lesson

          Module 4: Social Behavioral Science Interventions

          Competencies covered in this module:
          • Describe the merits of social and behavioral science interventions and policies.
          • Identify multiple targets and levels of intervention for social and behavioral science programs and/or policies.

          Module 4: Lesson 1: Role and efficacy of social and behavioural science in public health interventions.

          Student Learning Outcomes:
          • Define and defferentiate between Policy and Intervention.
          • Provide examples of how social and behavioural sciences are incorporated in Public Health interventions and responses.
          • Explain the role of social and behavioral science interventions in individuals, households, and communities to improve health outcomes.
          • Explain the levels of public health intervention practice.
          • Explore interventions or policies in social and behavioral science programs at the individual, household, and community levels.
          Approximate time required for the readings for this lesson (at 144 words/minute): 7 hours and 46 minutes.


          Click here to start this lesson

          Module 5: Planning, Implementation & Evaluation of Public Health Programs, Policies and Interventions

          Competencies covered in this module:
          • Identify the individual, organizational and community concerns, assets, resources, and deficits for social and behavioral science interventions.
          • Identify critical stakeholders for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health programs, policies, and interventions.
          • Describe steps and procedures for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health programs, policies, and interventions.
          • Apply evidence-based approaches in the development of social and behavioral science interventions.

          Module 5: Lesson 1: Planning and Implementation of Public Health Programs, Policies and Interventions

          Student Learning Outcomes:
          • Summarize important individual, organizational and community concerns, assets, resources, and deficits, and strategies for identifying these components.
          • Recognize the importance of considering individual, organization, and community levels as related to the development of social and behavioral science public health interventions.
          • Identify key stakeholders and partnerships in an example of a public health program.
          • Describe the Planning Health Promotion Programs steps 1-4.
          • Explain how evidence-based SBS interventions and policies can be applied to public health programs.
          • Summarize the key procedures for implementing public-health programs, policies, and interventions.
          • Explain the special considerations and approaches for implementing SBS interventions in diverse communities.
          • Identify the challenges faced when developing and implementing SBS interventions.
          Approximate time required for the readings for this lesson (at 144 words/minute): 5 hours and 58 minutes.

          Click here to start this lesson

          Module 5: Lesson 2: Evaluation of Public Health Programs, Policies and Interventions

          Student Learning Outcomes:
          • Identify common types of evaluations for public health interventions.
          • Compare and contrast evaluation types and methods.
          • List the steps to prepare an evaluation plan.
          • Discuss suitable criteria to evaluate partnerships among stakeholders.
          • Identify special considerations and approaches for evaluating SBS interventions in diverse communities.
          • Explain the potential challenges of evaluating SBS interventions in diverse communities.
          • Outline the benefits of evidence-based approaches and their efficacy in the development of social and behavioral science interventions.
          Approximate time required for the readings for this lesson (at 144 words/minute): 7 hours and 21 minutes.

          Click here to start this lesson

          Final Assignment

          Competencies covered in this Assignment:

          • Apply awareness of cultural values and practices to the design or implementation of public health policies or programs.
          • Apply evidence-based approaches in the development and evaluation of social and behavioral science interventions.
          Approximate time required for the readings for this lesson (at 144 words/minute): 25 hours and 44 minutes.

          Click here to start this final Assignment

          Final Exam

          Course and Self Evaluation & Certificate

          In this section, you can provide feedback about this course to help us make NextGenU.org better. Once evaluations are completed, you will be able to download your certificate of completion. 

          Click here give your feedback

          Course Activities

          Required readings
            Optional readings
              Peer Activities
                Quizzes
                  Assignments
                    Discussions
                      Questionnare