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MCH Navigator Presents Public Health Pronto: Effective Microlearning for Building Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals

Date: 4/28/2017 10:59 AM

Related Categories: Council on Linkages, Workforce Development

Topic: Council on Linkages, Workforce Development

Tag: Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals, Council on Linkages, Training, Workforce Development

John Richards, MA AITP, Lead, Health Information Group and Co-Director, National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health, Georgetown University
John-Richards.jpgPublic Health Pronto, the Maternal & Child Health (MCH) Navigator's newest microlearning project, enables public health professionals to participate in short bursts of learning throughout the year to improve their professional skills.

Microlearning is an effective and emerging learning style that addresses the pressures of time constraints, information overload, and busy schedules by providing highly relevant and curated materials in small bursts at regular intervals.

Benefits of microlearning include:
  • Innovative format. Learning occurs in short segments that are easy to complete.
  • Focused content. Access to relevant information happens without clutter.
  • Incremental learning. Frequent, short learning bursts reinforce each other.
  • Just-in-time. Acquiring information happens at one’s own pace, when needed.
  • Communal learning. Learners can share ideas and ask questions.
  • Multitasking and learning. Information can be gathered on-the-go.

The MCH Navigator's initial microlearning program, the 5-Minute MCH, was conducted from July 2015 through June 2016 as a means of providing continuous, segmented learning to encourage registrants to become more familiar with each of the MCH Leadership Competencies and to learn more at their own pace, all while being engaged in a collaborative, synchronous environment with each other and experts in the field. You can continue to access the 5-Minute MCH content via the Navigator’s website.

This new project, Public Health Pronto, addresses the eight Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals (Core Competencies) domains and three Health Transformation Cores (in collaboration with the National MCH Workforce Development Center), aligning key public health concepts with MCH priorities by using an easy-to-follow modular format designed to increase knowledge and skills through 5-minute intensive learning sessions available through the Navigator web portal. Presented in 12 sections, topics are explored in a series of four modules providing background, additional learning opportunities, implementation strategies, and learning sessions with experts from the field.
Highlights of this program include:
  1. In module 1 of each competency domain, participants learn about a new competency domain through a 5-minute video podcast, including what knowledge and skill sets each competency domain contains and how they are important for daily work. A motivational approach is shared to keep participants learning throughout the course of the competency domain.
  2. In module 2 of each competency domain, professionals receive five highly focused learning opportunities for that competency domain and can take one or all of the trainings to sharpen knowledge and skills. Participants can share their learning experiences online with others who have taken the same trainings.
  3. In module 3 of each competency domain, learners will receive five implementation strategies to put knowledge into practice. Learners are invited to share their experiences implementing the strategies in their workplaces on the 5-Minute Portal.
  4. In module 4 of each competency domain, participants will hear a 5-minute question and answer session with Navigator staff and an expert in the field. Learners will have the opportunity to ask questions and have them answered in an inviting, conversational format.
Getting started is easy. To begin, (1) watch an introductory video on the MCH Navigator site and (2) dive into the modules on the website. Visit to access course materials at any time, and register to receive information about upcoming microlearning programs.

For more information about Public Health Pronto, please contact John Richards at
Share your own stories about how you or your organization have used the Core Competencies in the Comments section below, and send questions about the Core Competencies to Janelle Nichols at


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