Saturday, February 18, 2017
Exhibit Hall (Hynes Convention Center)
Sara Stone, Planetary Health Alliance, Cambridge, MA
Background: The Planetary Health Alliance (PHA) is a consortium of academic, nongovernmental, and governmental partners, established to support the growth of a policy-focused, transdisciplinary field of applied research aimed at addressing the human health impacts of Earth’s rapidly changing natural systems. A primary goal of the PHA is to foster global planetary health education efforts to equip the next generation of planetary health scholars to address critical questions in this emerging field. The PHA is curating an online collection of high quality, multimodal teaching materials (e.g. video clips, computer simulations, case studies, classroom activities, core readings) for topical modules in planetary health, in support of educators around the world. We see this as a fundamentally collaborative effort and desire to work with partners to create a global good for planetary health education. Methods: A landscape analysis of existing platforms is underway. This analysis is aimed at evaluating platforms by a series of metrics, such as ‘pace’ of the material (i.e. self-paced or pre-prescribed), and credit system (i.e. is credit offered and if so, how?). This analysis is occurring in parallel with an assessment of legal frameworks and intellectual property rights to be drawn into agreements for shared use of the content worldwide. Materials will be curated by theme and learning goals to ensure academic rigor. The material will be available in a free-standing form (e.g. users can access and download one individual case study), in addition to comprehensive modules that can then be joined together to form courses. This curated collection will be designed for undergraduate-level educators, with plans for expansion to the postgraduate and high school levels. Through a peer-review process, the quality of the educational content will be graded, and areas lacking robust teaching materials will be flagged for future development. All content will be reviewed for cultural sensitivity, case studies will be strategically designed for relevance at the local level, and multi-lingual translations will be developed through partnership with universities around the world. Discussion: Research efforts within planetary health have, across the last decade, been largely uncoordinated. The Planetary Health Alliance endeavors to develop and support the growing community of practice, and the curated collection of educational materials is a primary and tangible force for connection. The vision for the collection has been shaped through numerous discussions with thought partners from academic institutions across the globe, and a significant challenge has been distilling and refining the variety of inputs and suggestions that we have received. The shaping and curation process is iterative, and this continued growth allows for a unique responsiveness to the feedback and needs of the global community.