TEAM Lab Accomplishments
On June 30th 2014, the Tobacco Education and Materials Lab (TEAM Lab) will be closing its doors. Since 2009, we have had the pleasure and honor of working with many tobacco control agencies to make educational materials available to agencies across the State of California and the Nation.
The materials review process at TEAM Lab has been instrumental in supporting decisions about quality and effective tobacco educational materials that have been moved for statewide and national distribution via the TECC catalog. Over the past 5 years, 278 materials were submitted to TEAM Lab. The review process qualified over 70 materials that were reviewed by the Materials Review Committee (MRC). Of these, 18 are pending approval for distribution and 21 materials have already been distributed. The MRC members consisted of talented, expert tobacco education material reviewers with experience in various areas of tobacco control. TEAM Lab has been honored to work with over 16 MRC members in the past couple of years. A list of these members can be found here.
Training and Technical Assistance
Over the past 5 years, TEAM Lab has responded to over 264 material development technical assistance requests and conducted 27 training webinars and webisodes. Cumulatively, 871 participants attended 16 webinar trainings over the past 5 years. Numerous agencies have benefited from the technical assistance and trainings offered by TEAM Lab, and have created tailored and effective tobacco control educational materials for their communities.
Our website has been a valuable resource for California tobacco control programs and other programs nationwide and internationally. According to our website satisfaction survey, the majority of respondents (75%) found the website useful. TEAM Lab staff continuously updated the website with new tip sheets, newsletters, trainings, and relevant information for the field. It has been a valuable resource for agencies creating education materials and included the TEAM Lab trademark 10 steps to developing effective tobacco education materials, which guides agencies through all of the necessary steps.
Over the past 2 years, TEAM Lab developed its own materials to support California Tobacco Control Programs (CTCP) projects. TEAM Lab created 15 campaign materials to help with the statewide Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community campaign, which have been made available to state-funded tobacco control agencies involved in the campaign to disseminate among their local communities. All of these materials were field tested with diverse populations in California and have been reviewed by tobacco control experts. A list of these materials can be found at http://teamlab.usc.edu/learn/resources/team-lab-materials.html. You can view these materials through the CTCP Partners Retail Page (https://www.tcspartners.org) and the Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community website (http://healthystoreshealthycommunity.com).
As the only material development training and technical assistance (TA) statewide agency, TEAM Lab has been positioned to gain a wide perspective on the current landscape of anti-tobacco education. The process of tailoring tobacco education materials not only increases their effectiveness, but it also encourages working directly with at-risk communities to stimulate change among the most vulnerable, underserved, and hard-to-reach populations. The lessons that TEAM Lab learned are useful in informing future tobacco control education efforts and providing insight into the capacity required of a TA agency to meet the needs of the field.
Based on the lessons learned over the past 5 years, TEAM Lab offers the following recommendations to agencies working in tobacco control:
- Be visible. Attend coalition meetings, get onto meeting agendas to inform constituents of services, and proactively approach the field through different types of communication—email, blogs, telephone, local and state coalition meetings etc. Continual efforts need to be made to market services and resources.
- Market on multiple communication mediums with the intended audience to be a constant reminder that services are available.
- Personal service and relationships are still important, even in the technological movement. There were many times TEAM Lab staff took time to talk to CTCP-funded agency staff members on the phone, and their appreciation was anecdotally expressed.
- Conduct trainings that meet the specific needs of the field and understand in depth what those needs are critical to the success of the trainings.
- Respond to questions immediately after trainings and have a mechanism to follow up with in depth questions proved to be very useful for the field.
- Invest a good amount of time and resources into developing a new website so that it the site meets the needs of the audience.
- Maintain the website continuously. This is an essential part of keeping the site easy to navigate and full of resources.
- Field test materials. This is an essential step in developing effective tobacco education materials. Conducting thorough field testing with the intended audience is integral to developing quality materials.
- Participate in various committees and meetings to collaborate with other tobacco control projects and gain a solid understanding of what is needed in the field and where to best place program efforts.
We would like to thank all of the agencies that submitted tobacco educational materials for review. We also want to thank our Materials Review Committee members for their commitment, expertise, and recommendations to the numerous educational materials that they reviewed. We acknowledge the collaboration with various workgroups and individuals involved in tobacco control for their continued support and input over time. We also want to give a big thank you to the Tobacco Education Clearinghouse of California (TECC) for working with us to help provide tobacco education materials to California and the nation. We would like to also thank those agencies that participated in our webinars and needs assessment surveys and supported us throughout the years with your calls, emails, and requests for assistance. We hope that you enjoyed and benefited from our services and resources. Last but not least, we would like to thank CTCP. It has been an honor working with you all and we wish you all the best with your current tobacco control projects and beyond!
To download the TEAM Lab Accomplishments in PDF format, please click here.