205967 Lessons learned teaching epidemiology to undergraduate students

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 12:44 PM

Deborah A. Falta, Phd, MPH , Department of Public Health Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, SC
Rachel Mayo, PhD , Department of Public Health Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, SC
Hugh D. Spitler, PhD MPH , Public Health Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, SC
In response to the Institute for Medicine's recommendation that all undergraduates have access to education in public health, it was suggested that an undergraduate epidemiology course become an integral part of general and liberal education. Faculty members at Clemson University have been teaching such a class since 1992 and have experienced the unique challenges involved with teaching epidemiology to undergraduate public health students. Undergraduate students are not simply younger versions of the students enrolled in graduate courses and these distinctions are discussed. We have tried many styles of assignments, examinations, and teaching technologies over the years. Our success with group activities related to article critiques, paced assessments, service-learning focused courses, and iClicker usage will be shared along with lessons learned the hard way about engaging undergraduate learners using lecture slides and reliance upon text-provided material. We share our experiences with the aim of helping further inform and contribute towards the process of developing undergraduate public health programs and general education curriculum requirements pertaining to critical thinking skills development.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the challenges presented by teaching epidemiology to undergraduate learners. 2. Describe differences between the typical learning style of an undergraduate compared to a graduate student 3. Explain effective and ineffective teaching strategies for engaging undergraduate students.

Keywords: Education, Epidemiology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been teaching an epidemiology class to undergraduates students since 1992. I have a Masters and Phd. My fellow authors are also both doctorally trained and have been teaching for the past 12 - 15 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.