Perspective piece global health education during the COVID-19 pandemic: Challenges, adaptations, and lessons learned

Kristina M. Krohn, Michael A. Sundberg, Nasreen S. Quadri, William M. Stauffer, Adriana Dhawan, Hope Pogemiller, Viviane Tchonang Leuche, Sarah Kesler, Tsige H. Gebreslasse, Megan K. Shaughnessy, Bobbi Pritt, Alma Habib, Beth Scudder, Sarah Sponsler, Stephen Dunlop, Brett Hendel-Paterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Global health education programs should strive continually to improve the quality of education, increase access, create communities that foster excellence in global health practices, and ensure sustainability. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the University of Minnesota's extensive global health education programs, which includes a decade of hybrid online and in-person programing, to move completely online. We share our experience, a working framework for evaluating global health educational programming, and lessons learned. Over the decades we have moved from a predominantly passive, lecture-based, in-person course to a hybrid online (passive) course with an intensive hands-on 2-week requirement. The pandemic forced us to explore new active online learning models. We retained our on-demand, online passive didactics, which used experts' time efficiently and was widely accessible and well received. In addition, we developed a highly effective synchronous online component that we felt replaced some of the hands-on activities effectively and led us to develop new and innovative “hands-on” experiences. This new, fully online model combining quality asynchronous and synchronous learning provided many unanticipated advantages, such as increasing access while decreasing our carbon footprint dramatically. By sharing our experience, lessons learned, and resources, we hope to inspire other programs likewise to innovate to improve quality, access, community, and sustainability in global health, especially if these innovations can help decrease negative aspects of global health education such as its environmental impact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1463-1467
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology
  • Parasitology


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