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Online · School of Health Sciences · Public and Community Health

Health Communication and Advocacy

  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 02/06/2020

Course Description

This course examines the principles and practices of effective interpersonal, organizational, and community-based communication to shape attitudes and actions about health and health care. Students will explore the use of counseling, public campaigns, social media, and political processes to advocate for health among diverse populations.





This course is required in the Health Promotion concentration of the Master of Public Health curriculum at Liberty University. It prepares students to serve as competent communicators of health information across multiple media and to serve in advocacy roles to advance the profession and to promote the public’s health.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Describe how societal, organizational, and individual factors influence and are influenced by public health communications.
  2. Apply evidence-based approaches in the communication and evaluation of public health information.
  3. Apply theory and strategy-based communication principles across different settings and audiences.
  4. Use logic models and ecological frameworks in program development, implementation, communication, and evaluation.
  5. Demonstrate effective written, oral, and technical skills for communicating health information with diverse audiences.
  6. Advocate for community health programs and policies through media, politics, agencies, and churches.
  7. Differentiate the purposes and methods of formative, process, and outcome evaluation.
  8. Define a biblical basis for personal and public health practice.

Course Resources

Required Resource Purchase

Parvanta, C., Nelson, D., Parvanta, S., & Harner, R. Essentials of Public Health Communication. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning; 2011. ISBN: 9780763771157.

Disclaimer: The above resource provides information consistent with the latest research regarding the subject area. Liberty University does not necessarily endorse specific personal, religious, philosophical, or political positions found in this resource.

Additional Materials for Learning 

    1. Computer with basic audio/video output equipment
    2. Internet access (broadband recommended)
    3. Blackboard recommended browsers
    4. Microsoft Word (Microsoft Office is available at a special discount to Liberty University students.)

Course Assignments

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Each module/week will be introduced by a video presentation overviewing the content to be covered. Textbook readings provide the core content necessary for mastery of the subject area and prepare the student for the related assessments and activities. Completion of the required readings is necessary to successfully complete the quizzes. Follow the syllabus carefully, as textbook readings are not always in consecutive chapter order. To find examples of forms and products being discussed, be sure to refer to appendices of the texts when asked to do so.

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (5)

The student will complete 4 Discussion Board Forums which progressively build components of the Program Plan, 1 DB Introduction and 1 DB Forum identifying their topic. Each Discussion Board Forum will have specifications as outlined in the Assignment Instructions folder in the course; some will require replies to other students and some will not. When replies are required, the instructor is looking for substantive comments reflecting critical analysis of the material and thoughtful reflection of classmates’ posts.

e-Portfolio (8)

The e-Portfolio is a collection of web repositories (commonly known as a blog or blogsite) for products and activities demonstrating the knowledge and skills the student has gained throughout the course. The collection may also serve as a tool for future professional use and possible career advancement. E-portfolio Modules will be worth 20 points each. In Module 8, the e-portfolio will also be evaluated comprehensively and 30 points will be awarded for overall look, accuracy, completion, and improvement throughout the course.

Quizzes (8)

There will be 8 open-book/open-notes quizzes given during this course. The student will have 1 hour to complete each quiz.

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist


Discussion Board Forums (4 at 100 pts ea; 1 @ 10pts)


e-Portfolio (8 @ 20 pts ea and overall blog @ 30 points)


Quizzes (8 at 50 pts ea)






Late Assignment Policy

Course Assignments, including discussion boards, exams, and other graded assignments, should be submitted on time.

If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor immediately by email.

Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions:

  1. Late assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive up to a 10% deduction.
  2. Assignments submitted more than one week and less than 2 weeks late will receive up to a 20% deduction.
  3. Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.
  4. Group projects, including group discussion board threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be accepted after the due date outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.

Disability Assistance

Students with a disability and those with medical conditions associated with pregnancy may contact Liberty University’s Online Office of Disability Accommodation Support (ODAS) at [email protected] for accommodations.  Such accommodations require appropriate documentation of your condition.   For more information about ODAS and the accommodations process, including how to request an accommodation, please visit Requests for accommodations not related to disabilities or pregnancy must be directed to the Registrar’s Office, which generally handles medical needs support.

If you have a complaint related to disability discrimination or an accommodation that was not provided, you may contact ODAS or the Office of Equity and Compliance by phone at (434) 592-4999 or by email at [email protected].  Click to see a full copy of Liberty’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Student Disability Grievance Policy and Procedures.

Course Attendance

In an effort to comply with U.S. Department of Education policies, attendance is measured by physical class attendance or any submission of a required assignment within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion board posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with one’s professor regarding an academic subject. More information regarding the attendance policy can be found in the Academic Course Catalogs. Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term. Students who do not attend within the first week of a sub-term by submitting a required academic assignment (such as the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic activity) will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options. Students who begin an online course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of “FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance). Students wishing to withdraw from courses after the official start date should familiarize themselves with the withdrawal policy.

Grading Scale

A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
940-1010 920-939 900-919 860-899 840-859 820-839 780-819 760-779 740-759 700-739 680-699 679 and below

For courses with a Pass/NP final grade, please refer to the Course Grading section of this syllabus for the assignment requirements and/or point value required to earn a Passing final grade.

Add/Drop Policy

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory.

Honor Code

Liberty University comprises a network of students, Alumni, faculty, staff and supporters that together form a Christian community based upon the truth of the Bible. This truth defines our foundational principles, from our Doctrinal Statement to the Code of Honor. These principles irrevocably align Liberty University’s operational procedures with the long tradition of university culture, which remains distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth. Our desire is to create a safe, comfortable environment within our community of learning, and we extend our academic and spiritual resources to all of our students with the goal of fostering academic maturity, spiritual growth and character development.

Communities are predicated on shared values and goals. The Code of Honor, an expression of the values from which our Doctrinal Statement was born, defines the fundamental principles by which our community exists. At the core of this code lie two essential concepts: a belief in the significance of all individuals, and a reliance on the existence of objective truth.

While we acknowledge that some may disagree with various elements of the Code of Honor, we maintain the expectation that our students will commit to respect and uphold the Code while enrolled at Liberty University.

Adherence to the principles and concepts established within facilitates the success of our students and strengthens the Liberty community.

The Code of Honor can be viewed in its entirety at


HLTH 634

Textbook: Parvanta et al., Essentials of Public Health Communication (2011).


Reading & Study




Parvanta et al: chs. 1–2, 8

1 presentation

2 websites

Course Requirements Checklist

DB Forum 1

e-Portfolio 1

Quiz 1

Class Introductions







Parvanta et al: chs. 3–5

3 presentations

2 websites

DB Forum 2

e-Portfolio 2

Quiz 2





Parvanta et al: chs. 9–10

1 presentation

1 website

e-Portfolio 3

Quiz 3




Parvanta et al: chs. 11–12

1 presentation

2 websites

DB Forum 3

e-Portfolio 4

Quiz 4





Parvanta et al: ch. 13

1 presentation

1 website

e-Portfolio 5

Quiz 5




Parvanta et al: ch. 14

1 presentation

1 website

DB Forum 4

e-Portfolio 6

Quiz 6





Parvanta et al: chs. 6–7

1 presentation

e-Portfolio 7

Quiz 7




Parvanta et al: chs. 15–16

1 presentation

DB Forum 5

e-Portfolio 8 (20 points week 8 and 30 points for overall blog)

Quiz 8






DB = Discussion Board

NOTE: Each course week begins on Monday morning at 12:00 a.m. (ET) and ends on Sunday night at 11:59 p.m. (ET). The final week ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday.