Fairmont State professor awarded a grant to enhance outdated educational tools


FAIRMONT, W.Va. – The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and the Community and Technical College System have provided a grant to support faculty seeking to create, or adopt open education resources to use in college courses.

The WVHEPC presented the opportunity to combat economic hardships placed on college students as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Associate Professor of Community Health, Dr. Janie Leary, has been awarded the OER grant to enhance learning in the Communication Techniques for Health Promotion course.

Leary will use the grant funding to update the framework of The Cancer Institute’s Making Health Communication Programs Work, last updated in 2001. The text outlines basic content related to health communication but lacks recently formed communication techniques, best practices, and research.  

“It’s going to give them more detail about the kind of nuances of communication. The techniques that you use, the bare bones of it, are the same. Its, particularly with technology, improving so much that it was important to bring it up to the 21st century, “said Leary. “It is still using a 1990’s kind of terminology and things. So, it will be nice to have the right terminology in the text, so we don’t have to teach that separately.”

In addition to the funds awarded to Leary, she will also be publicly recognized as a participating faculty member in the statewide OER initiative and encourage peer-to-peer support. For more details about the grant funding, read more here.

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