Enhancing Curriculum in Epidemiology and Biostatistics through Simulation-Based Learning

Sharn Donnison, Peter Dunn, Rachel Cole, Michael Bulmer, Anne Roiko, Frank Muller


A course in epidemiology and biostatistics, taken by students in health promotion and other public health disciplines, is evaluated and assessed in light of a recent university directive to incorporate blended learning, and the projected increase of online students into the course. A formal curriculum evaluation was informed by qualitative data from academic staff teaching into the course and students enrolled in the course. Five areas of challenge are identified: the volume of content; the authenticity of content; the course scheduling; the disconnection between the two course components; and the authenticity of the assessment. Some potential solutions have been identified, and the use of a virtual human population proposed as an avenue for introducing these solutions in a blended learning context. The process of conducting a formal curriculum evaluation in the context of introducing blended learning may prove useful in higher education courses looking to introduce blended learning, especially in disciplines that require students to interact with people.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ire.v4i1.8064


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