Multiple Technologies and Lessons Learned in an International Online Childhood Sexual Abuse Course

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We present the compelling need for an international online course in childhood sexual abuse (CSA), illustrate technologies used (email, audio-lectures, streaming-videos, interactive forums, and power point), and share lessons learned. International studies have found that rates of reported CSA are consistent with those in the U.S and Canada. Under-reporting of CSA is common, as is re-victimization. Thus, there is a compelling need for professionals world-wide to be educated to intervene effectively with CSA victims and their families, and with offenders. There are few venues in the U.S. and internationally where professionals can obtain needed CSA knowledge and skills. Workshops are often inaccessible, taking time away from work and family responsibilities. This online course allows “user friendly” scheduling, permitting students to balance multiple needs. Online technology has major advantages over traditional teaching methods. Students world-wide can access information, transcending geographical boundaries. They can review audio-lectures and video-clips as often as needed, and exchange ideas about issues related to CSA that may be difficult to share in traditional classroom environments. The online course, Treatment of Childhood Sexual Abuse, was designed for professionals responsible for working with victims of CSA world-wide. Online modules focus on different aspects of CSA; readings, audio-lectures, and streaming videos illustrate and integrate CSA theories and practice. To facilitate online discussions, students submit, via email, weekly reflection papers and questions based on assigned readings. Once questions are reviewed; the three that most encourage interactive and meaningful online discussion are chosen. In our paper, we will discuss in detail how we managed to: collaborate with distance education staff who have little information about CSA, provide access to a technology expert, respond non-defensively to students’ frustration and anger, normalize students’ intense feelings about CSA, facilitate cross-cultural discussions, accommodate to time zone differences and broad-band limitations.


Keywords: Educational Technology, Childhood Sexual Abuse, Online Teaching, Professional Practice
Stream: Technology in Education
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Jennifer Elkins

Doctoral Candidate, School of Social Work, Columbia University
New York, New York, USA

Jennifer Elkins has practice and research experience in the area of trauma, violence and abuse; particularly the impact of sexual abuse, domestic violence and other chronic stressors on children and families. She received her B.A. and M.S.W. from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University School of Social Work. For her dissertation she is using a nationally representative sample of children involved in the child welfare system to examine the impact of sexual abuse on the behavioral, psychosocial and academic outcomes in boys

Dr. Helene Jackson

Associate Professor, College of Urban Affairs, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV, USA

As one of the first recipients of the NIMH Clinical Faculty Scholar Award in child and adolescent mental health, Dr. Jackson conducted national research on sexual abuse. She is internationally known for her work on the effects of family violence and trauma. She has published several scholarly articles on posttraumatic stress disorder, sexual abuse, domestic violence, rape, and preadolescent suicide. She is the co-author of the book “Childhood Abuse: Effects on Clinicians’ Personal and Professional Lives”, and editor of the book “Using Self Psychology in Psychotherapy”. She has also produced two, cutting-edge, interactive online courses Overview of Trauma, Complicated Grief, and Treatment of Childhood Sexual Abuse. Jackson’s contributions to research, teaching and practice have been recognized by the New York Academy of Medicine where she is a Fellow, and the National Academy of Practice in Social Work where she is a Distinguished Scholar.
A native of Boston, MA, Jackson received her B.A. from Simmons College, her M.S.W. from Boston University, and her Ph.D. from Smith College.

Ref: T08P0092