August 23, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

August has been a whirlwind of activity. I started my Pfizer Global Health Fellowship with Project HOPE in Shanghai, China on August 1, 2012. The week started with introductions and learning about the mission, goals, and focus of Project HOPE China; the Shanghai staff discussed their programs, each program’s impact and their excitement to have me onboard to determine the learning strategy to convert their on-ground training programs into on-line training targeting: the Rural Training Program, Women’s Health-Cervical Cancer Education Program, and Pediatric NCDs (non-communicable disease), specifically Ventilation Management.

Lisa, Niki, Amy, Jenny, Gu, Connie, Tanya, Sophy07-31-2012_SCMC_lunch

Lisa, Niki, Amy, Jenny, Gu, Connie, Tanya, Sophy 

I spent the first week of my fellowship immersing myself in the programs and eating lunch at the SCMC (Shanghai Children Medical Center) cafeteria with the various health professionals. I quickly learned that pork is a staple as each dish I had daily would typically include three variations of a pork dish, a vegetable, and rice. This was a culture shift for me as I typically do not eat pork, and when I do it may be a few times a year. I learned that everyone really does eat with chopsticks in China, and no they do not provide napkins, you must bring them yourself. I also learned that eating with one’s fingers is not taboo, and though I was a bit awkward with the chopsticks my Project HOPE hosts were forgiving and I am getting the hang of things.


There are five full time staff members in the Project HOPE office in PuDong with two interns and a part-time office manager in PuXi, which is across the river, considered the Old Shanghai. I felt instantly welcomed in this all female office as Jenny Xu, the head of the Pediatric Nutrition program provided me with a “white coat” so that I could blend in with the other health care professionals at the hospital.


After meeting with Lily Hsu, the Program Director at the Shanghai office and my direct manager during the fellowship, my second week at Project HOPE, I quickly began work on my main goal, developing the eLearning strategy and securing an LMS (learning management system) and my three action items for August: GCP Training, Active Training and Interactive Training Train the Trainer session for Project HOPE staff, and an overview of the Pfizer Global Health Fellow Program.


Original Business Requirements Document


Revised Business Requirements sent to IT Vendor                                                

Working with Tracy Huang, I compiled a list of business requirements that we both revised to reflect Project HOPE’s needs and a mock-up of what the LMS’ graphical user interface (GUI) and basic functionality along with a mock-up of an eLearning course template. Tracy has communicated with a vendor who provides a hosted LMS service and develops eLearning courses. If the vendor meets all of our business requirements at a cost that is optimal for Project HOPE we will go forward with them.


Original LMS Mock-up    


   Revised LMS Mock-up sent to IT Vendor

I am both excited and nervous about this process. Typically it takes several months and even over a year to secure a LMS and it is a multi-year process to move from on-ground (ILT) training to on-line (eLearning). Also, developing an eLearning course follows the same process as software development and typically takes 3 – 12 months to develop a course or a series of courses depending on the level of complexity. Given the type of training that Project HOPE is seeking to move on-line, it will more than likely take longer to develop the courses. However, I am looking into some rapid design strategies especially with the fact that they have stable content and some content that is already in video format. Therefore, what needs to happen to create the courses is good instructional design to convert the training from an ILT to eLearning format, some graphic design, and solid multi-media course development. Working with the right vendor who has a solid track record for results and rapid development will land Project HOPE in the right place. However, we are still at the beginning of this process and we are cognizant of the target date of late October to have the LMS up and running with at least one show case course.


As for the GCP course, we have sent a list of questions clarifying the request to SCMC. As soon as we have a clearer understanding of the expectations I will continue working with my contact at Pfizer China to secure a resource that can come over and conduct a GCP clinic for the SCMC staff; next week I will share my impressions from attending a few of the training events and methods to build in greater interactivity and make the training sessions more Active. I will also discuss Pfizer’s global imperatives and how the GHF program fits into them and how it thus benefits Project HOPE and their key stakeholders.



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