Online Program

Field-Based Learning: Innovations in Teaching Public Health Practice

Monday, November 2, 2015: 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Public health education is evolving rapidly as the needs of practitioners change. As recently as a decade ago, the majority of practitioners learned public health "on the job" while working in the field. Some of those practitioners then went on to obtain graduate qualifications in public health. Today, as public health has become a main-stream profession, many students are exposed to the study of public health as an undergraduate, and the Masters of Public Health is now an essential qualification for new professionals entering the field. The result of this is that the majority of students entering MPH programs have little or no field experience on which to root their education. Teaching methods must change to meet the demographics of the next generation of public health professionals. We have worked as a teaching team at the Boston University School of Public Health, across multiple public health disciplines to develop a response to this teaching challenge, and bring the field into the classroom in a unique and effective way. Building on early concepts of problem-based learning, and project-based learning, we have established an approach that enables students to work on real-life public health challenges in both a US and international setting, while at the same time benefitting from a supervised learning environment. Teaming small groups of students with service delivery organizations (public and private) around the world, we have established learning partnerships in which students provide solutions to complex management, implementation, and service delivery challenges. The outcomes of the student's work is put into practice by the partner organization, providing them with workable solutions, and the students with real-life experience. This session describes the development of the Field-Based Learning approach; the challenges and benefits for teachers using this methodology; the role and incentives for field -based organizations to engage; and, an evaluation of the effectiveness and impact of this approach on public health learning.
Session Objectives: Define Field-Based Learning Describe the situations where Field-Based Learning is the optimum teaching approach Identify institutions outside of the classroom that are suitable for Field-Based Learning
Malcolm Bryant, MBBS, MPH

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Organized by: International Health
Endorsed by: APHA-Committee on Women's Rights

See more of: International Health