This course will become read-only in the near future. Tell us at if that is a problem.

Full Description


According to the Pew Research Center, "Eight-in-ten internet users look online for health information, making it the third most popular online pursuit among all those tracked by the Pew Internet Project" ( 

Today, more and more people are seeking out health information on their own, becoming active participants in their own (and their families') health care.  And more and more health information is easily available on the internet. Unfortunately, not all of it is accurate, up-to-date, and/or appropriate.  This course is designed to help you, as online "consumer health information" seekers, better navigate the rich world of internet health resources.

Who is an online consumer health information seeker?

  • A daughter taking care of her aging parents
  • A teenager wondering what the symptoms are after his teammate is diagnosed with an illness
  • A middle-aged man at risk for high blood pressure
  • A nurse/doctor/dentist looking for materials for her patients
  • Anyone!

Throughout the course, we'll "meet" as a group on a regular basis to discuss various health information concepts, including health literacy, how to evaluate health information websites, specific online resources, personal health records, and finding health information on the social web (Twitter, Facebook, etc.).  We'll focus on free and open resources, in the spirit of P2PU, from organizations like the National Library of Medicine.  There will be exercises to help you become familiar with the material, a small "final project" to capture what you've learned, and a community of your peers who can contribute to and support your health information searching beyond the P2PU classroom.

A couple important notes:

  • Always talk with your doctor about any information you find or questions you have.  There is no subsitute for your clincian!
  • Health information is often very personal and private; this course will never require that you reveal any personal health information.  Rather, it will cover general concepts applicable to any health information topic.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Provide 1 or 2 general resources that are good, quick starting points for finding health information.
  2. Locate free & trustyworthy health information on the Internet.
    • Locate heatlh information in different languages, for different ages, for women/men, etc...
  3. Look at a health information resource and evaluate whether or not it is appropriate to use.
  4. Help others find and evaluate good health information resources.


The only prerequisite is a good grasp of English for understanding the course content. 

Sign-Up Task

  1. Watch the about P2PU video!
    • Write 2-3 sentences about why you're taking this course within the P2PU context (i.e., what brought you to P2PU?)
  2. Provide a link to any health information resource and explain in a sentence or 2 why you think it's a particularly good or a particularly bad example!  There's no right or wrong answer; I would just like to see what people come up with, and this helps show me that you're interested in this topic. :)

Task Discussion