This course was very interesting, well-presented and easy to follow. I think Ms. Gurley deserves great applause for producing such a very valuable tool in helping folks prepare to be a Contact Tracer!
This course is truly helpful and timely. It taught me a lot about the whole process and importance of contact tracing, and how this essential tool can help in reducing the cases of COVID-19 worldwide.
By Navin R•
Speaker could have been more energetic.
By Dony R•
By Paloma P•
By Kenneth C•
I was able to complete the course over two days. I found it to be professionally developed and I learned a number of things that I did not know or previously internalize about COVID-19, including the difference between the incubation period vs. the infectious period, how to calculate those periods for a specific individual based on the onset of symptoms, motivations and support systems for quarantine and isolation, and how contact tracing is skillfully conducted.
I would highly recommend the first 2 modules (Basics of COVID-19, Basics of Contact Tracing for COVID-19) for just about everyone to get solid foundation knowledge of COVID-19 and infection mechanisms and timeframes. I thought I already knew a bit from reading news articles, etc, but there were a number of things I learned, probably as the result of some focused study and guidance to tie it all together.
The remaining 3 modules (Steps to Investigate Cases and Trace Their Contacts, Ethics of Contact Tracing and Technological Tools, Skills for Effective Communication) are obviously primarily beneficial for those who are looking to work as or even train a contact tracer. However, the Skills for Effective Communication also includes good teaching on active listening and examples of an essential set of interpersonal skill that is relevant well beyond contact tracing.
Finally, this course does not attempt to get very technical in its discussion about COVID-19, nor does it discuss the latest in treatment research. It also does not try to tackle the difficult task of identifying asymptomatic carriers. But what this course does intend to cover, it does well, serving as a solid introduction to the virus and core contact tracing practices and motivations.
By Rick N•
The video "Observing Basic Case and Contact Calls" was very bad. I could not watch it, even though I tried four times.
The "case" actor, "Larry Marie" was disgusting. He seemed to think he was acting in a soap opera.
The "contact" actress, "Annette Peterson" was bad, too, in her own way. She did not even look like she was 61 years old, and she made numerous unnecessary facial expressions.
It would have been better for the actors just to have read the scripts "straight", without trying to ham it up. Their lack of authenticity was nauseating.
The rest of the course was quite good, except for one unfortunate point: the unnecessary use of the term "public good".
"Public good" has a specific meaning in economics. Public goods have certain characteristics, such as non-excludability and non-rivalrous nature. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_good_(economics)
Public health services are services, not goods, and they are they are definitely not non-rival, because health services can be stretched thin when the case load is too heavy.
I think that no good purpose was served in bringing up the topic of public goods. The course should have steered clear of this jargon term from economics.
Overall, the course was quite good, especially the part about the natural history of Covid-19.
However, I was unclear about whether it would be better for contacts to quarantine separately from other members of their household, if possible. It would seem so, but this was not stated explicitly, to my recollection.
Finally, if a test question has multiple answers, the phrase "check all appropriate answers" should always be included.
By CHERYL B•
I am an elementary school nurse who @ the last minute has started off their school year in a virtual learning model. We hope to go to hybrid p 1st quarter.
My nursing supervisor asked all of the district nurses to complete this course in the probable event we will be contract tracers for each of our buildings and to help our Human Resources dep't and the local health dep't to monitor COVID -19 concerns in the district.
I found this course to be challenging as well as insightful into the world of public health. It was extremely helpful to have non judgmental quizzes along the way to reinforce the learning. The role playing videos were great learning tools. Communication doesn't come easy for me, so being given examples of the appropriate words to say was paramount for me. I know I will be able to try and build great rapport w/ any staff that I need to help. Thank you!
I am a perfectionist by nature, so I know I sometimes get too caught up in what I am doing. That being said, the hours I put into this course were far more than what the course elicited/ stated would need to be committed to. I am a health professional so the anatomy/pathophysiology, nuts & bolts of SARS-CoV-2 came relatively easy. This course did however take just about double the 6 -7 hours of commitment that was advertised. That fact left me scrambling to add more study/ viewing time than I originally thought was needed. Total time to complete, I feel, needs to be adjusted for future participants. I know I will keep this in mind before signing up for another class.
Thank you for this format.
By Valerie B•
Very helpful, clear explanations of complex topics, great review of interviewing skills. The course reinforced what I have learned and practiced in my decades as a physician specializing in Family and Community Medicine as well as my training and experience in Global and Public Health. I think that the contact tracers need to know the current limitations of testing for SARS-CoV antibodies, which may lack specificity and not reflect lasting immunity. This is evolving information.
Please also differentiate and explain more clearly: exposure, infection, incubation period.
The R0 is of course a useful parameter but begs the question of how it could range, depending on the number of contacts actually exposed to the index case. Should it be thought of as a ratio? This was confusing in the course. I think that showing graphs with geometric and exponential increases could be a helpful graphic. It would be a nice review of high-school math.
"Medical Grade mask" is a colloquial term. Better to describe different face coverings as artisanal/homemade, procedure or surgical, N95 respirator (looks like and could be used as a dust mask but is more than that). Also the N95 is designed to protect the wearer, so we often wear a surgical mask on top of it to protect our patients. Our other PPE elements such as gowns, face shields, and gloves are part of the protection package for health care professionals. I would like people to understand that any face covering used properly and consistently can benefit the wearer and the people nearby
By Nancy A•
I would like to personally thank Emily Gurley, PhD, MPH, Associate Scientist, John Hopkins University and the University for the powerful message this course presents to understanding the global impact of a virus that requires the unmasking and identification of an infected individual. Linking their vital contact tracking of people they may have been in close proximity to will help reduce and circumvent community spread.
The importance of contact tracing for COVID 19 and other relevant viruses infecting humanity is not a whimsical fantasy created for global political politics but presents a key to protecting the planet from endangering humanity and preserving life.
I am seventy-years-of age and was assessed for coronavirus. Was I COVID+? Still awaiting a decision. I am fortunate that I live in a safe city and a safe neighborhood. I am a widow and my children live in other cities. However, testing here was rationed in the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak and still plays a factor in the tracking and tracing of this deadly virus. And the CDC did not expand and update all the symptoms that accompany the virus until late in this pandemic.
Following the updated information regarding COVID 19 symptoms on Israeli TV and as released on WHO is a telltale sign that requires us to be vigilant about global health.
This COVID 19 course helped me to further assess what is needed as it is a global outreach that transcends one country’s flag. Thank you. תודה רבה
NC Abrams (motownblackwhite.com)
By Susan B D•
I was very impressed with this course, although it ,along with my other online & household responsibilities, took me A LOT longer than ~ the 6 hours suggested. I am a bit compulsive, & I kept going back & back. Still there were spots that I didn't get completely. I am a nursing educator with 45 years' experience as an RN. I still found some parts difficult. I made the classic mistake of changing some answers on the final & therefore achieved a lower score than I should have. (Ah.... me!) But I passed. I am considering assigning this to one of my grad nursing courses this fall as an excercise in learning more, refreshing nursing skills (particularly communication skills) and communication/active listening. They sometimes never get that in their undergrad programs. My university offers its own Contact Tracing certificate. I'm possibly going to try to get their certificate (also free) to compare, but I'm pretty sure that your course will win! Thank you, Dr. Gurley & associates & thanks to JHU for making this free. A true public health service. I am impressed, particularly since this is a U.S. based university. If the world were collaborating better on this pandemic, it would not have wreaked the havoc that it has done to many countries, particularly the U.S. & the Western Hemisphere in general.
By Janet S•
This class not only subtly showcases the medical expertise of the instructors, it is designed extremely well allowing for easy absorption of the facts. It is readily apparent that the expertise of contact tracers was also incorporated into class, giving us very valuable tips on how to actually do the job of a contact tracer including what NOT to do. The updates included for CDC guidelines were extremely appreciated as these seem to change daily these days. Loved the videos of contact tracer conversations! Extremely helpful!
I originally started a contact tracer course at my local junior college. It was immediately apparent to me that while the instructors were very knowledgeable, they were also practitioners and did not have the instructional expertise to develop a course that easily understandable for students. Having been a teacher for over 12 years, perhaps I was more biased, but in talking to my classmates online, everyone seemed to be struggling with the same issue. I have compared the class materials of each and realized that the John Hopkins coursera class actually gave me much more information regarding the actual experience of contact tracing, which is essentially why I took this course in the first place.
Thank you for creating such an informative and easily understandable course!
By Rose M Y•
I loved this course! Thank you for offering it for free to the public, as it was very informative & thorough. With respect, my only critiques are as follows: populations most vulnerable to infection and how the disease is spread among the public was slightly confusing.
Maybe in the future the development of separate course levels for health care professionals and basic contact tracers would be ideal, kind of like how CPR courses are currently designed to accommodate the various needs of the industry sectors. Another possible solution for this presentation could be to add a slide or two about wives tales identified throughout this pandemic thus far, (i.e. emphasizing that although the media at first promoted the idea that children are at risk for severe infection, it appears that children are not at high risk of severe infection & that these other groups are). Restructuring of the existing slide could also work as maybe that is what confused me. One last point, the identification of curbside pick-up scenarios as low-risk for the spread of infection was confusing to me - would these objects be considered fomites? It would be great if this could be expanded on further in the future. Thanks again to the creators and theatrical team for this awesome & FREE course , I learned a lot!!!
By Helen M C•
This COVID-19 Contact Tracing Course was enlightening, encouraging, filled with sorrow, and deepened my determination to be of assistance at this time of this Pandemic.
The Course instructor/lecturer Dr. Emily Gurley, PhD, MPH was a top-notch communicator of facts and details surrounding and pertaining to COVID-19. Her explanations of the virus, the awareness of its effect, her presentation of the facts, was absolutely superb. My learning curve was not flattened; I highly recommend this course.
Since the beginning of my awareness (my awareness of this Pandemic was end of December 2019) there has been a desire of mine to help in some way. When I heard the term contact tracing, a term I cannot recall hearing before, I knew immediately this is what I want to do to contribute to the efforts to overcome this Pandemic.
I was still employed as Church Clerk with the Sunny Side Missionary Baptist Church then; however, now I am retired from that employ and can add my efforts to those of the many others on this battlefield.
Thank you. Thank all of you who are involved in this battle. Godspeed. God bless you all. Thank you, again, for making this course (which provided more than ample information on this virus) available to the masses.
By Judithe K•
Thank you for the opportunity to take the COVID-19 Contract Tracing Course online (for free!). I am not in the Public Health or medical fields, but I did and do want to learn more about COVID-19 and the Contact Tracing Process.
The COVID-19 Contract Tracing Course was very good! The organization was easy to follow and the information provided was very helpful. The charts were VERY informative and the contact call examples with review follow up was value add.
I had 2 minor issues though, and I am sure both are due to user error! First, I attempted to download a module, but no file appeared. This is my first non-internal company course and my goal was to get a copy of the whole module "old school style" so that I can take notes for later referral. I also attempted to download several charts with no luck. (I did search for recent downloads and files just to be sure, but to no avail.) Second, I thought this would be a 5-week course as Week One had one module and there were 4 others. Week 1 appeared to be indented and the first module appeared to be indented also. Again, both of these are more than likely user errors.
Thank you again for the opportunity to take the COVID-19 Contact Tracing online course.
By Nancy J J•
I am a substitute school nurse. I am not sure if I will be able to use this course in the school, but wanted to have certification to assist where needed. I have a daughter-in-law who is a High School Athletic trainer, and has been reading information from the CDC. I have told her about this course, and gave her information to take course. I took another Contact Tracing course, but only got certificate. I decided to take this course to get the CE hours. I am glad I took this course. I learned additional information. I like the questions at the end of each section, if I got something wrong, I went back and review the section right away. Even though, I got a 93.33% on the final examine, The ones I got wrong were the ones I over read the question, was debating if I needed to mark additional answers and talked myself out of mark the answers. I feel comfortable with my score. I feel, I had the information I needed to do the job.
I had selected some class to keep the information handy if and when I use the course. I did not know how to get the information printed. There was some very good information that I would have like to have.
I found the course very helpful.
Nancy Jane Jenkins, BSN, RN
By Maribel J P V•
Muy bien estructurado y explicado, inicia con conceptos clave del virus, forma de transmisión, métodos preventivos, periodo de acción, definiciones como caso y contacto entre otros. Luego se enfoca en prepararnos para el trabajo de campo, desarrollando las habilidades blandas de comunicación efectiva, dando útiles consejos para generar el lazo de respeto y confianza para obtener la mayor cantidad de datos y ayudar a la salud pública respetando la confidencialidad y privacidad de los mismos y acorde la legislación local. En suma muy provechoso y muy bien explicado. Gracias!
Very well structured and explained. It begins with basic concepts of the virus, mode of transmission, preventive and corrective methods, period of action and key words. Focuses on preparing us for real interviews, showing cases and identifying mistakes. Develops in students soft skills of effective communication step by step. Give us useful advices to generate a bond of respect and trust to obtain the greatest amount of data and help public health. Teach us how to respect the confidential and private data and the difference between them. Than you very much, I'm glad to did the course!!
By Joe F•
Course was very good - clear and easy to follow.
I found the graphic for "Timeline of Infection" challenging - I thought it difficult to grasp the various day-counts from the Case to the Contact(s). Perhaps the addition of earliest to longest time-frames would help
I also found some of the definitions in the 'Effective Communication' section to be a bit tedious/ pedantic, particularly as it relates to questions being "Leading" AND "Open" OR comments being "Reflective" vs. "Confirming" - Otherwise, good communication skills/suggestions.
I did have trouble with the PDF for this section, which I downloaded - several pages appear to have errors - particularly pp 34 & 35 (not sure if I can get back to attempt a re-download).
Finally, one of the FINAL test questions has an Agreement issue (sorry, I don't recall the #) - the example is about an individual ("Eric", for example), while the question asks how "they" will deal with the issue ...
One last thing - I signed-up to do this class for the $50 fee, waived through a 'certificate' from Bloomberg ... not sure if I got the appropriate certification accordingly. I shall attempt to follow-up separately on that.
By CHERYL D•
Very informative. Necessary information as a health care worker and for sharing with family and friends. The information was clear and concise. The course setup was a bit confusing as I ended up going through all the videos before I realized that there was more to the sign up process that gave me access to the quizzes and test. But it did not pose a problem in the end. A few of the final test questions were a bit unclear. The one on technology may need adjustment. Apple phones have a way of testing a person's temp through the earbuds, which technically could be worn at night. So it could be a correct choice though I understand it's not necessary to check your temp at night. But that was not what was asked. I also agree with the reviewer about the question on how the virus can spread on the soles of shoes. Not enough information given about transmission in this way in the lecture...does it survive in this way...and it has been suggested we don't wear our shoes in the house. Neither question was an issue for me but I agree they should be looked at. Otherwise a very good intro to understanding the virus and the process of contact tracing.
By Elizabeth C•
This was an excellent learning opportunity regarding the COVID -19 virus, its origin and and the various components involved in contact tracing. There are so many parts to this concept and this course was able to walk the learner through the various steps involved in the process.
The only regret that I experienced was the fact that I accidentally took the final assessment before completing the course. I really don't know how I got to that point, but thankfully, I have the opportunity of retaking the test at some point. I hope that I get to score 100%. Not everyone gets an opportunity to correct mistakes in life and I am grateful for this. My goal is to have a perfect score. As a teacher, I have always encouraged my students to learn and strive for the best. I am retired now, but my goals have not changed.
Dr. Gurley did a marvelous job to clearly present the important aspects of contact trcing. Thanks for this opportunity. I hope that the skills that I have acquired will be of service to others, especially in these uncertain times.
By Erin F•
I have experience in speaking with people regarding public health issues but this course was good for the specific objections you'll be hearing from people who are either infected or have been exposed to SARS COV 2 and how to overcome those objections in a compassionate manner and get them to quarantine/isolate successfully. I thought the skills presented to successfully interview cases/contacts was very well done and thought it was interesting to learn the basics of the disease and the many variances you'll encounter as a contact tracer. The mock interviews and different scenarios that a contact tracer would encounter were the most helpful for practical purposes. It was great for brushing up on skills I haven't used in a while and I am deeply grateful I was able to take the course and that my information will help those who are ill. I believe in this mission and look forward to assisting those in need.
By Matthew W•
Maybe it's partly being cooped up under stay-at-home orders for COVID, maybe my decades of full-time work as an IT analyst and computer support professional solving a problem, maybe a bit as social science major in college, and certainly a bit related to being an elected official for 16 years and chair of my local health district governing board--but taking this course was particularly helpful to me to see what I knew was an important public health function. And to pass a basic course on the subject generated even more confidence in my public health professionals and eagerness to help possibly as a volunteer contact tracer in the future.
Finally, thank you Dr. Gurley for a well-presented online experience, complex scenarios to think about, and empathetic style. You made this course fun and worthwhile.
By Clarissa G•
The various scenarios were very helpful. The details on common signs & symptoms, and the differences between isolation and quarantine helped inform and clarify the ways that I can support other staff during this time. I found it rather concerning that there is no mention of race or racism throughout this course. Given the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on Black and Native communities specifically, and communities of color generally, I was hoping this course would address this & the reasons why this may be the case (redlining, access to hospitals, etc). I would like for future courses on this topic to have a section that helps unpack the racist impacts of Covid-19 on Black, Indigenous, and people of color, and ways to make sure that all communities are supported during this time.
By Sabine B•
This course taught me to talk about SARS - COV 2 virus with knowledge. Identify symptoms and what they indicate. Severity of symptoms and such. I learned about how the virus spreads. I learned to effectively communicate with a case after the person tests positive for the virus and I become the contact tracer. I learned great skills how to effectively communicate to find out everything possible from a case in order to find all the contacts and by tracing these contacts to ensure to prevent further spread of the disease. I learned how to help and assist cases and contacts with isolation and quarantine. This is an excellent course to to learn and understand the skills to help during this global pandemic in one area to be helpful to stop transmission and help end the global crisis.
By Vanessa R•
This course was one of the most in-depth; life altering; 'call to action' assignments I've ever embarked upon! I think it's because the material explains what we're facing right now as a nation 'real-time' with this COVID-19 pandemic; so the instructional material, video tutorials and scenarios felt personal & real; because we actually know and hear about people who are effected everyday! And honestly, I could literally feel and hear, Dr. Emily Gurley's confidence, expertise and most importantly, her compassion for all our communities during these modules! Her lectures are so engaging & specific as if she's preparing and equipping us for a battle, she knows we will ultimately WIN! I feel more motivated & empowered than ever to get to work for the lives of all our people!
By flavio o•
I am an engineer and occupational safety trainer based in Italy (exactly in northern Italy, the most affected by the epidemic). At this time, the Fase 3 post epidemic, it is important for us - trainers- who come into contact with many workers and students, to provide clear, scientific and easily executable information and instructions on workplace to stop the contagion and reduce the COVID19 pandemic.
The course provided me, especially in the first part (Module 1-2-3) all the basic information to understand what this disease is and what is the state of the art in the fight against it. The second part (Modules 5-6), more specific, were however useful to understand how correct communication, also applicable in the preventive phase during the training of workers, can be important
By Diane L C•
I appreciated this course immensely. I am very interested in the material, and was eager to acquire information. This is the first online course I have ever taken (I'm 75years old!), and that became a hindrance for me, because I was not able to easily access the material, including the notes and the visuals. I would have preferred an actual textbook, or any easier way to page through the material and have it readily accessible. I could quibble with certain other aspects, but most of all, I'm extremely interested in the subject, and thrilled to have assimilated so much information. I am looking at it as a possible next career - I don't know how I'm going to find more work as a musician while Covid-19 is out of control in America! So thanks for this great opportunity!