Tips for Adapting Tuberculosis Educational Materials
Adapting existing educational materials usually requires less time and fewer resources than developing new materials. Before using existing materials, review the materials to ensure accuracy of information. Also, be sure to review and evaluate the materials based on individual, community, and program needs. You may be able to use some products and materials without any modification. Other materials may not be appropriate for your target audience or compatible with your program’s guidelines. These materials may require modification.
Below are some tips and resources to consider for evaluating and adapting materials.
Assess needs and resources
- Identify program resources (time, personnel, budget) for material development or adaptation.
- Get to know your audience and build a partnership for the process of adapting and developing materials. Getting to know the audience helps determine what information to include based on what they already know and what they need to learn. This is also essential in ensuring the right reading level and ensuring the content is culturally and linguistically appropriate.
- Identify your audience’s needs and resources through literature searches, observations, informal conversations, surveys, interviews, and focus groups.
Evaluate the material
- Evaluating health education materials will help you determine if the material can be used as is, if it can be adapted, or if a new material should be developed to better meet the training and education needs of the target audience.
- It is important to thoroughly review the content for accuracy; is the information consistent with recent guidelines?
- Also review the writing style, reading level, images, and format to determine what needs to be revised for your setting, audience, and training/education needs.
Find out whether you need permission to use or adapt the existing material
- Some organizations have copyright requirements. Contact the organization, author, or production company to get more information and permission to use or adapt the material
- Adhere to the “Fair Use” clause. This clause states that you can use some materials for educational purposes, but you cannot publish, sell, or take credit for them without written permission.
- U.S. federal government documents and publications are not copyrighted. They are free for all to use without permission. If you make changes to government documents, all government logos should be removed before publishing.
- For all adapted materials, it is common courtesy to give proper acknowledgment and a full citation to the original materials and producers.
Pilot test (field test) new or adapted materials with members of your audience
- Pilot testing is a strategy that allows members of your target audience to review the materials before they are finalized and mass produced.
- Pilot testing can help answer questions about alternate ways to present information, concepts, content, appearance, and format.
- Pilot testing can also identify confusing or unclear terms and determine if the material is effective in increasing knowledge or changing attitudes.
- Pilot testing methods include focus groups, in-depth interviews, surveys, and questionnaires.
- Pilot testing will help save your program time and money because it identifies which messages and materials work best with your target audiences.
Make changes based on pilot test
- After pilot testing materials, collect and review the information.
- Make changes to the materials based on comments and suggestions.
Finalize and implement
- Determine how many copies of the materials are needed.
- Develop a distribution and marketing plan for the materials.
Evaluate your adapted material
- Monitor the quantity of materials distributed and determine how the materials are being used.
- Periodically reevaluate, update, and revise the materials as needed.
For more detailed information on how to develop or adapt existing materials, please visit the following resources and references.
Making Health Communication Programs Work, available from the National Cancer Institute
How to Write Easy to Read Health Materials, available from the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, Medline Plus
Beyond the Brochure: Alternative Approaches to Effective Health Communication available from The AMC Cancer Research Center and CDC
CDCynergy available from the CDC
The Community Toolbox available from the Work Group on Health Promotion and Community Development at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas