142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

How do we know that new teaching methods are effective? Evaluation of a practice-based curriculum for Master of Public Health Students

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014

Jacey Greece, DSc, MPH , Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Donna McGrath, MS , Department of Policy, Planning and Administration, Boston University School of Education, Boston, MA
Erin Smith, MPH , Health and Human Development Division, Education Development Center, Inc., Waltham, MA
Liam Day , Codman Academy, Codman Square Health Center, Boston, MA
Vanessa Edouard, MPH , Education Office, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Rigorous and independent evaluations are consistently employed to understand the process and impact of federal, state, and local public health programs.  The evaluations are used to inform research and practice to ensure implementation of high-quality programs that are effective in reaching their intended goals.  This same approach should apply to teaching especially with novel approaches such as practice-based teaching.  In academia, the traditional method of evaluating a course includes student evaluations and sometimes peer observations.  More rigorous evaluations of curricula using various data collection methods are needed to ensure high-quality teaching that prepares students for careers, fosters faculty development, and, where applicable, results in community partnerships.  An intervention planning and communication course at Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) was restructured to utilize practice-based learning; students create deliverables for a local public health agency based on the agency’s priority areas.  Using a pre- and post-test design, the course is being externally evaluated to determine the effectiveness of this approach in meeting the course objectives.  Guided by a logic model and evaluation plan, the evaluation assesses short-term goals (i.e., course learning objectives, quality of deliverables) and long-term goals (i.e., quality of collaboration, career opportunities for students, faculty development, agency implementation of deliverables).  Various data collection strategies include surveys of the students and agency, key stakeholder interviews and focus groups, in-class observations of faculty, and document review of course assignments and activities.  The results of the evaluation will be used to inform changes in the curriculum and collaborations with the community.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Explain the importance of rigorous, independent evaluations in teaching practice-based courses. Describe how an evaluation plan (design, measurement tools) addresses the evaluation questions developed for the students, faculty, academic institution, and community partner. Discuss how evaluation results can inform course development in subsequent semesters for the same course or provide lessons learned for other courses. Identify measurable and important short-term and long-term outcomes of interest in the evaluation and sources to measure those outcomes.

Keyword(s): Evaluation, Public Health Curricula & Competencies

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Clinical Assistant Professor at BUSPH responsible for the content and delivery of the course that is being evaluated as the focus of this abstract. In addition, while I am not evaluating the course directly, most of my professional work is in evaluations of state and federal public health programs. I bring both the teaching expertise and the evaluation expertise to this project.
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.

Back to: 3188.0: Poster Session I