Creating a culturally responsive online personal health course

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Erika W. Bonadio (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Diane Gill

Abstract: Many Americans face critical barriers to living a healthy lifestyle because of their status as members of marginalized social groups (Gill, 2007; Harrison & Clark, 2016; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2018). Factors such as race/ethnicity and income affect educational attainment, which can negatively influence health outcomes for people from underserved groups, and ultimately contribute to health inequities (Egerter, Braveman, Sadegh-Nobari, Grossman-Kahn, & Dekker, 2011). Blacks and Latinos between the ages of 18 and 24 are less likely than Whites to go to college (Musu-Gillette et al., 2016) and are more likely than Whites to first enroll in community colleges rather than 4-year colleges (Ma & Baum, 2016). Over twice as many students with yearly family incomes less than $20,000 attend community colleges compared with students with family incomes over $50,000 (Radwin, Wine, Siegal, & Bryan, 2013). People from marginalized groups and those living in poverty are less likely to enroll in and complete higher education, and the degrees they do attain tend to be lower, which negatively affects many health outcomes. Culturally responsive pedagogy (CRP) is a theoretical framework for teaching based on the recognition that if students from marginalized groups are to have better lives, they must (a) learn academic content (academic success), (b) understand and appreciate their own cultural beliefs and values (cultural competence), and (c) be able to see and evaluate how social conditions affect their positions in society (sociopolitical consciousness; Ladson-Billings, 2006). The purpose of this study was to design and evaluate an online personal health course that incorporates CRP to provide students with health information that was personally applicable and engaging. Using principles from the CRP literature, an online personal health course was designed to meet the health and learning needs of diverse community college students at a community college in the United States. The course was evaluated using open-ended faculty interviews, Likert-type open-ended questions of students, and narrative reviews of the course provided by experts in online teaching and learning and CRP. Quantitative data were analyzed using frequencies. Qualitative data were analyzed using an iterative process of quotation identification, sorting quotes into related topics, and interpreting the meaning of topics related to the study objectives. Students, faculty, and experts generally agreed that the course was designed to be personally meaningful and engaging for diverse students and promoted academic success. Opportunities for cultural competence exist in the course but need to be more clearly articulated. In line with the literature, sociopolitical consciousness was the aspect of CRP that needs the most development in the future. Suggestions are included for improving the design and cultural responsiveness of the course, thereby increasing its value for student learning.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2019
Culturally relevant, Culturally responsive, Health, Online
Health education (Higher) $x Social aspects
Web-based instruction $x Social aspects
Culturally relevant pedagogy

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