PRACTERA, A LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FOR PRACTICE-BASED TEACHING AND LEARNING
Jacey Greece Dsc MPH, James Wolff MD MPH MAT, Nikki James MBA DEd, Meliza Varsovia MPH, Zak Gersten MPH
Do you ever struggle with getting feedback from faculty, clinical supervisors or clients assigned to work with, mentor or supervise students? When you’re working with student teams, do you ever wish you had data that could tell how teams are communicating with each other or with their mentors? Would you like a systematic way of tracking your interventions to improve team dynamics? Would you like to have your course available to students on their phone or on a tablet? This session aims to familiarize faculty, staff and supervisors interested in exploring the use of Practera, a learning management system (currently in its 3rd semester of piloting with grant funds from BU’s Digital Education Incubator), which is designed specifically for practice-based teaching. Participants will get hands-on experience with the platform, learn the fundamentals of creating a course on Practera, and view the various components of the system from the student, faculty, and client- mentor perspective.
Target Audience: Faculty and staff interested in taking a practice-based course to the next level through enhanced collaboration with clients, preceptors, PIs, or external mentors/partners and the development and use of data analytics for assessment. Faculty interested in developing a practice based course. Rationale: In public health, medicine, and dentistry opportunities to build skills and competencies under real world situations are critical to developing competent practitioners. Practice-based teaching and learning in the classroom and in the field is the pedagogy that is now recognized to provide these opportunities and is expanding in all graduate programs in health sciences. Practice-based teaching and learning, often called service learning or project-based learning, requires a three-way partnership; between the student, the faculty, and a project or practice mentor (usually from an external organization). Managing this partnership, tracking the students’ progress working with mentors within and external to the school, and obtaining quality data for assessment have been perennial challenges for faculty involved in this type of teaching. Practera, a learning management system developed by Intersective, is a platform specifically created for practice based teaching and learning. Designed so that all partners can collaborate, it provides data analytics for managing both student-team and team-client relationships and for assessing student and team performance.
Learning Objectives: At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: Explain how Practera supports practice-based teaching and learning; Develop hands on experience navigating a course on Practera
Describe Practera analytics and how to set up a dashboard to monitor student-client relationships and assess student performance
Explore the use of a mobile app (your course on a smartphone or tablet) 17
Explore the resources and support needed to use Practera at scale
Outline: Session will take place in the computer lab. Overview (10 minutes): brief introductions, review of learning objectives, for participant input on what they hope to gain from the session Hands-on demonstration of Practera (30 minutes).
Participants, guided by the workshop leader, will gain experience navigating an existing course
Assessments Data analytics: (20 minutes) demonstration, review and discussion Mobile Applications:
Participants will download a course to their phone and explore the course on their phone (15 minutes) Wrap Up (15 minutes):
Pedagogical discussion time and Q & A.
James Wolff, MD, MPH, MAT1, Jonathan Payne, MS2, Rose Molina, MD, MPH3, Meryn Robinson, MPH4, Emily George, RN, MPH, DrPH(c)5 and Pawandeep Kaur, MPH, DrPH(c)1, (1)Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, (2)Regenstrief Institute, Indianapolis, IN, (3)Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, (4)Dimagi, Cambridge, MA, (5)Ariadne Labs, Boston, MA
Using Mobile Technologies to Improve Health Outcomes is a master’s level course at Boston University School of Public Health that partners with public health organizations and a technology company to design and develop mobile applications that address real global health challenges. Many of these mobile applications have moved on to be tested and implemented in the field by the partner organizations. The authors propose a full session to discuss a case study of one particular partnership in which a team of students collaborated with two public health organizations and a technology company to create a mobile tool to support labor and delivery nurses in Chiapas, Mexico to improve delivery of essential childbirth practices. Panelists will discuss 1) how to identify and engage organizational and technology partners; 2) how to work with public health organizations to create terms of reference for the development of mobile applications that meet important public health needs that are suitable for a graduate-level classroom setting; 3) how student consulting teams work with clients to design and develop mobile tools based on these terms of reference; 4) how client organizations pilot and further develop and implement the mobile application in the field; 5) the challenges to implementation; and 6) the potential link to improved health outcomes associated with this type of partnership. The panel, moderated by one of the course instructors, will include course faculty, a student, and representatives from the technology company, the client organization and the implementing partner.
Jacey Greece, DSc, MPH and James Wolff, MD, MPH, MAT, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
To prepare MPH graduates for successful application of public health competencies in their careers, accredited schools of public health (SPH) must identify the knowledge and technical and professional skills needed for practice and provide opportunities for application of these skills in public health settings. Practice-based teaching (PBT) is a pedagogical approach where students learn through course instruction while working on a real problem and producing implementable deliverables for a public health agency. Currently no framework exists for designing, implementing, and evaluating the pedagogy. This presentation will define PBT for public health and will present a novel five-step framework, PBT STEPS, to guide faculty, schools, and practitioners in development of a practice-based curriculum for public health education. Each step will be described and illustrated through a practical example. The PBT STEPS framework, developed by the authors, provides a foundation for the development and design of a PBT course and its implementation through securing partnerships (S), technology and training (T), engagement and implementation (E), presenting deliverables (P), and sizing up results (S). This framework ensures a PBT course that builds technical knowledge, integrates existing knowledge and experience, develops and strengthens public health skills and competencies by working with real world situations, and realizes the benefits of PBT to all stakeholders – students, alumni, public health agencies, communities served by the agencies, faculty, and school. Evidence-informed, feasible, and innovative solutions created through PBT collaboration provide significant benefits to the agency and the communities they serve while successfully training students to be workforce ready. This framework will aid faculty and schools to implement PBT more broadly within schools of public health and across public health disciplines, to secure and maintain collaborations that infuse the field with innovative and evidence-informed solutions to current issues, and to allow students the opportunity to acquire necessary competencies to make them effective public health practitioners.
Jacey Greece, DSc, MPH1, James Wolff, MD, MPH, MAT1, Malcolm Bryant, MBBS, MPH1, Gouri Gupte2 and Donna McGrath, MS, EdM3, (1)Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, (2)Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge, MA, (3)Boston University School of Education, Andover, MA
Practice-based teaching (PBT) provides accredited schools of public health opportunities for MPH students to apply competencies in a variety of public health practice settings. Limited research has been done to measure the effectiveness of PBT in attainment of course competencies and collaborating agency outcomes across multiple disciplines of public health and over time. This multi-course evaluation examined short- and long-term effectiveness of PBT on stakeholder outcomes including to students, faculty, and collaborating agencies. Methods: Guided by an evaluation logic model, four PBT courses representing three MPH disciplines – social and behavioral sciences, global health, and health policy and management (n=93 students) – participated in the mixed methods evaluation. Student assessments included a matched pre-test and post-test (n=56) and focus groups (n=8 students); agency assessments included surveys (n=8); and, course assessments included classroom observations and document review. Follow-up activities included surveys, interviews, and focus groups with all stakeholders three years post-course. Results: A majority of students (52.1%) reported an increased ability in general skills identified in course learning outcomes over the semester and reported a greater increase (77.4%) in ability with course-specific skills. A majority of students reported enhanced comprehension of course content (89.3%) and quality of course deliverables (96.4%). Qualitative feedback overwhelmingly highlighted the benefits of PBT to all stakeholders both in the short- and long-term. Follow-up activities showed sustained practical and professional benefits from the pedagogy including implementation of course deliverables within the communities served by the agencies. Conclusions: Although PBT requires an investment of time and resources, the benefits to all stakeholders, both short-term and long-term, far outweigh the costs. This evaluation shows achievement of student learning outcomes, sustained benefits to the public health field, best practices for faculty collaboration, and informs teaching across MPH disciplines.
The majority of public health work requires public health professionals to work in teams. “Workforce ready” graduates need not only to be technically competent but they must also possess the “soft” professional skills that are crucial to successful collaboration, innovation and change. Practice-based learning and practice partnerships provide an excellent opportunity for students to develop their team, management and leadership skills. To develop the skills to work effectively with others and to manage and lead a team, students need information about their performance as team members, managers and leaders from their peers. Understanding the perspective of their teammates on critical leadership and management skills such as delegation, communication, respect for others, ability to deal with ambiguity, and the ability to coach and teach others is critical to developing team and leadership skills. Without the benefit of information on their performance on a team, students cannot identify areas of strengths and weakness and formulate strategies for improving their skills. Practice-based courses that organize students into consulting teams require an easy, flexible system for generating information on team, management, and leadership skills of each student. In this presentation the authors provide examples of how academics facilitating practice-based learning can embed professional skill development in their curriculum using self and peer assessment of professional skills coupled with feedback and reflective learning loops. As this type of practice-based learning scales up, faculty will require learning management systems that support this pedagogy and automate the peer assessment, feedback and reflective learning loops. Through a grant from the Digital Education Incubator at Boston University we have been piloting the use of a practice-based learning management system in two practice-based courses at the School of Public Health. This presentation will review our experience in using this system to facilitate peer assessment, feedback and reflection on leadership skills. We will discuss in detail the use of Team360 reports and share the impact these reports have on the individual students, the cohesion of the teams and the project outcome for the course and practicum partners.
Practice-Based Teaching and Learning
Jacey Greece and James Wolff
Dean's Symposium on Teaching Public Health
March 28, 2018
4th Annual Assessment Symposium
Friday, March 16, 2018
“Beyond Classrooms”: Breakthrough Technology for Practice-Based Teaching
• Nikki James, Intersective, Australia
• Jacey Greece, Clinical Assistant Professor, Community Health Sciences (SPH)
• Diana Marian, Project Manager, Digital Education Incubator (DEI)
• Romy Ruukel, Director, Digital Education Incubator (DEI)
• James Wolff, Associate Professor, Global Health (SPH)
Acute care needs in an Indian emergency department:
A retrospective analysis
World J Emerg Med, Vol 7, No 3, 2016
Elizabeth G. Clark, Jessica Watson, Allison Leemann, Alan H. Breaud, Frank G. Feeley III, James Wolff, Tamorish Kole, Gabrielle A. Jacquet
BACKGROUND: Emergencies such as road traffic accidents (RTAs), acute myocardial
infarction (AMI) and cerebrovascular accident (CVA) are the most common causes of death and disability in India. Robust emergency medicine (EM) services and proper education on acute care are necessary. In order to inform curriculum design for training programs, and to improve the quality of EM care in India, a better understanding of patient epidemiology and case burden presenting to the emergency department (ED) is needed.
METHODS: This study is a retrospective chart review of cases presenting to the ED at Kerala Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), a private hospital in Trivandrum, Kerala, India, from November 1, 2011 to April 21, 2012 and from July 1, 2013 to December 21, 2013. De-identified charts were systematically sampled and reviewed.
RESULTS: A total of 1 196 ED patient charts were analyzed. Of these patients, 55.35%
(n=662) were male and 44.7% (n=534) were female. The majority (67.14%, n=803) were adults, while only 3.85% (n=46) were infants. The most common chief complaints were fever (21.5%, n=257), renal colic (7.3%, n=87), and dyspnea (6.9%, n=82). The most common ED diagnoses were
gastrointestinal (15.5%, n=185), pulmonary (12.3%, n=147), tropical (11.1%, n=133), infectious disease and sepsis (9.9%, n=118), and trauma (8.4%, n=101).
CONCLUSION: The patient demographics, diagnoses, and distribution of resources identified by this study can help guide and shape Indian EM training programs and faculty development to more accurately reflect the burden of acute disease in India.
KEY WORDS: Emergency care systems; Emergency department; Education; Acute care;
Emergency department utilization
143rd American Public Health Association Annual Meeting
A Cross-Discipline Evaluation of Practice-Based Teaching: Designing and Conducting an Evaluation of Innovative Teaching Methodology across MPH Disciplines
Authors: Jacey Greece, DSc, MPH, Malcolm Bryant, MBBS, MPH, Gouri Gupte, PhD, MHA, James Wolff, MD, MPH, and Donna McGrath, MS, MEd
Accredited schools of public health (SPH) offering Masters in Public Health (MPH) degrees must meet specific competency requirements across five domains within the discipline. In addition, MPH programs should incorporate opportunities for students to practice the skills associated with specified competencies, as well as other workplace skills, in public health practice settings. A pedagogical strategy such as practice-based teaching (PBT) may provide those opportunities. Limited research has been done to measure the effectiveness of PBT in attainment of course competencies within one discipline of public health, let alone across disciplines of public health. A rigorous, multi-method evaluation was conducted for four MPH courses spanning three disciplines at the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH). Guided by a logic model and evaluation plan, the pre-test post-test evaluation was designed to assess short- and long-term goals of PBT generally, and specifically the competencies required by each course. Each course collaborated with different agencies. Data collection strategies included surveys of students and agency, key stakeholder interviews and focus groups, in-class observations of faculty, and document review of course materials. MPH students are trained and expected to be multi-disciplinary in their approach to public health, just as faculty should be multi-disciplinary in their approach to high-quality and innovative teaching. As such, the effectiveness of PBT as a teaching methodology in SPH should examine impacts across disciplines and agencies. This evaluation provides insight into student learning outcomes, establishes best practices for faculty collaboration, and informs teaching practice across disciplines in an MPH program.
- Explain the importance of rigorous, independent evaluations in innovative teaching methodology at Schools of Public Health.
- Describe how a logic model and evaluation plan (design, measurement tools) can guide a multi-disciplinary evaluation of teaching methodology.
- Discuss the process of collaboration between faculty in multiple disciplines to evaluate courses that utilize the same teaching methodology yet address very different course competencies.
- Identify the benefits of evaluation across MPH disciplines to the students, faculty, collaborating agencies, and school and how evaluation results can inform MPH program development.
- Identify measurable and important short-term and long-term outcomes of interest in the evaluation and sources to measure those outcomes.
DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION IN EDUCATION ACROSS THREE SCHOOLS
May 25, 2016
Gouri Gupte, PhD, MHA, Department of Health, Law, Policy and Management, School of Public Health; James Wolff, MD, MPH; Department of Global Health, SPH; Rachael Bonawitz, MD; Department of Global Health, SPH; Robert Lowe, MD; General Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Sonia Ananthakrishnan, MD; General Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Andrea Maalouf, DMD, MPH; Department of General Dentistry, Goldman School of Dental Medicine
Activity-based learning is a disruptive innovation in education that can transform teaching and learning. Instead of transmitting information to the student as is commonly done in a lecture, activity-based learning provides students a way to experience and interact with ideas and information. Because activity-based learning connects students with real world practical problems, it increases student engagement. Activity-based learning is generally convenient, easy to use, and can be constructed from traditional teaching methods, aligning and blending with pre-existing education pedagogy, competency mapping and assessment. Activity-based learning is modular and creates opportunities for meaningful collaborative work.
In this session we will achieve our workshop objectives by modeling activity-based learning and applying our experience to create a roadmap for introducing activity-based learning into our own teaching.
Target Audience: Educators using, and interested in learning about, activity-based learning to enhance students’ professional skills and meet technical competencies.
Rationale: Traditional pedagogy, focused predominantly on educational theory and less on student engagement with the practice world, falls short in providing the active education current learners need. Disruptive education, in the form of experiential learning, creates an opportunity to motivate all students to master real-world skills and professional competencies through self-efficacy without remediation. Rigorously designed rubrics and innovative assessment methods of activity-based learning can identify quality teaching practices for educators.
Learning Objectives: By the end of the session, participants should be able to:
- Review principles of activity-based learning and explain why can it be a disruptive innovation by participating in an activity-based learning exercise.
- Identify the technical and professional competencies and skills that students can learn through activity-based learning.
- Explain the benefits of activity-based learning for the various stakeholder groups: faculty, students, and the education community at large.
- Analyze the challenges of activity-based learning and evaluate means by which to address these challenges.
- Identify the process of establishing partnerships and mechanisms to successfully design and evaluate an activity-based learning course.
Unite For Sight
13th Annual Conferene
Yale, New Haven
April 13, 2016
PITCH PERFECT: Learn to Pitch Like a Pro and Score the Funding you Need
David Barash, Executive Diredtor, Global Health Portfolio and Chief Medical Officer, GE Foundation, Lyn Black, Chief Medical Officer, International Medical and Surgical Response Team, East, National Disaster Medical System, James Wolff, Associate Professor of International Health, Boston University School of Public Health.
Unite For Sight
13th Annual Conferene
Yale, New Haven
April 13, 2016
Each pitch presenter will first present their 5-minute live pitch to the audience. They will then answer audience questions for 5 minutes. Immediately thereafter, the pitch presenter, you, and another expert panelist will sit at the front of the room for 10 minutes of dialogue. The pitch presenter will begin by asking their two most pressing questions to you and to the other expert panelist. After discussing the pitch presenter's questions, you and the other expert panelist will thereafter be asked to share your key guidance with the pitch presenter. After this 20-minute period with the first pitch presenter of the session, the process will repeat with the second pitch presenter of the session, and so on. After all of the 20-minute pitch periods, there will be approximately five minutes at the end of the session where the audience will ask questions directly to you and to the other expert panelist. A 90-minute Social Impact Lab session is therefore structured in this format:
- 5-minute pitch by pitch presenter #1
- 5-minute audience Q&A with pitch presenter #1
- 10-minute dialogue between pitch presenter #1 and two expert panelists
- Repeat with pitch presenter #2
- Repeat with pitch presenter #3
- Repeat with pitch presenter #4
- 5-minute Q&A with the two expert panelists
John McCahan Medical Education Day Conference
May 20, 2015
Consortium of Universities for Global Health
6th Annual Conference
We live in a golden era of knowledge. Unprecedented in volume and matched with a revolution in information technology, there has never been a better time to implement
the innovations and programmes proven to prevent or address most of the global challenges we face. Mobilising research for global health was the theme of this year's Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) annual conference. Held in Boston, MA, USA, on March 26–28, 2015, the event was attended by more than 1600 individuals, including a roster of leading researchers from around the world.
The practice of global health is diffi cult to teach from a US-based classroom. Students benefit from experiencing how theory becomes practice in the chaotic environments of under-resourced health programmes in developing countries. We could not take our students to the fi eld during weekly course work, so we designed a course to bring the fi eld to the students. We created innovative partnerships with locally based organisations that implement programmes in developing countries. Each student works with the same organisation for 4 months to resolve organisational challenges in human resource, quality, information, logistics, or fi nancial management.
Social Media in the Classroom
November 17, 2014
Social presence describes the strength of the social relationships and emotional connection among the members of a class or learning community. It has three elements: identifying with a learning community, communicating openly in a trusting environment, and developing interpersonal relationships.
Social Media tools provide a powerful way of building social presence in the classroom.
2nd Annual Scientific Conference
Muhimbili University for Health and Applied Sciences
Boston University Excellence in Teaching Conference 2013
Using Turning-Point Software and ResponseCard® keypads (clickers) to provide peer feedback on presentation skills
Malcolm Bryant, MBBS, MPH
Cathleen Cisse, MPH
James Wolff, MD, MPH
The practice of public health requires frequent presentation of findings to a variety of audiences ranging from senior government officials to local community leaders, school children, and marginalized groups such as injecting drug users. Presentations skills are often difficult to build. Good preparation is always important, but existing mechanisms for providing feedback on the technique and content of presentations (such as written and verbal peer and faculty evaluations) are often weakly effective in stimulating change in presentation approaches. Program Implementation for Global Health; Making Programs Work requires students to work in teams with an NGO from India, Lesotho, Namibia, or Zambia. Every two weeks, teams present their findings to the class using a variety of presentation techniques. In order to provide targeted, direct feedback to each group we video-taped 10 minute presentations by student groups, while their peers provided continuous feedback on their level of engagement using Turning-Point software and ResponseCard® keypads (clickers). Students could then match classroom reaction to verbal, non-verbal, and visual aspects of their presentation on a real-time basis. In response to this assessment approach, student teams revised their presentation approaches and an external faculty evaluation of presentations conducted at a later stage in the semester noted that student presentations were of a high quality. In this paper, we will present examples of student presentations and the real-time peer feedback.
Boston University Excellence in Teaching Conference 2013
Using Movies + e-Portfolios for Assessment
Malcolm Bryant, MBBS, MPH
Cathleen Cisse, MPH
James Wolff, MD, MPH
In our course, Program Implementation for Global Health, Making Programs Work, we have integrated e-portfolios into our course design. Students are required to develop both an individual e-portfolio to capture their reflections on their experience in the course and a team e-portfolio where they document and present the work done in their team. We designed an innovative and novel mid-year exercise using these e-portfolios to assess student learning in the course. We asked students to make a 5-7 minute video that would showcase their individual e-portfolio reflections and the skills and competencies they had documented in their team e-portfolios. We then arranged for the videos to be reviewed and assessed by a human resource (HR) professional working in a local international public health consulting company. Students then met and discussed their movie with the reviewer. This assessment was well aligned with course goals and course activities and provided the instructors with information about how students had framed and applied what they had learned in the course. In this presentation we will show some of the movies made for this assessment and discuss the value of this type of assessment from the perspective of the instructors, students, and HR professional reviewers.
Exploring ePortfolio Variations for Learning
This presentation explored adaptations of e-portfolios to facilitate teaching and learning.
In a variety of courses, portfolios were created and reflections provided by individuals, teams and faculty. Hyperlinks between individual, group and course portfolios enabled a community of learners which included faculty and students, as well as collaborating agencies.
James Wolff, Boston University School of Public Health
Rob Schadt, Boston University School of Public Health
Take a look at the conference presentation below:
Promoting Student Centered Learning in Tanzania
Gideon Kwesigabo1, David Urassa1, Vera Ngowi1, James Wolff2, Robert Schadt2, Prudence Merton3, Richard Waddell3, Lisa Purvis3, Mark Splaine3 and Karen Tombs3
1Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 2Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, 3Dartmouth College and Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire
The School of Public Health and Social Sciences (SPHSS) of Muhimbili University formed a partnership with Dartmouth College and Boston University School of Public Health (D/BU) to improve public health education in Tanzania. The goals of the project are to revise current curriculum from knowledge to competency based and to develop a program for faculty excellence at SPHSS.
Cognitive science indicates that traditional teaching methods like lecturing are inadequate to prepare students to meet the complex challenges facing society. Partnership activities have focused on facilitating faculty skills development and curriculum redesign to actively engage students in their learning and develop stronger analytical and problem solving skills.
The partnership collaborated to design a student-centered core curriculum for master’s candidates in all graduate programs at SPHSS. One of the key components is to prepare faculty to develop and teach with case studies. D/BU and SPHSS conducted a two-day workshop for 35 faculty to provide guidelines for case development and prepare and pilot-teach cases for their core curriculum.
In the workshop faculty considered the rationale and challenges of case teaching at SPHSS and created guidelines for their development. Eight cases for the new core were developed and pilot-taught. Faculty consultations formed the basis for building necessary case development and teaching skills and understanding the situational factors affecting case teaching at SPHSS.
Conclusions and Implications
Teaching with cases provides one important way of transitioning from a teacher-centered to a student-centered, interactive, and problem-based learning environment. To make this transition effective, the partnership is building faculty expertise not only in case teaching but in other student-centered, interactive teaching methodologies. This workshop modeled for faculty a student-centered method in a predominately teacher-centered, lecture environment and it could easily be replicated in other settings.
Fogarty International Center (FIC) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH); U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Tanzania
Exploring ePortfolio Variations for Learning
James Wolff and Rob Schadt
July 19, 2012
This session will explore adaptions for eportfolios to facilitate teaching and learning. In a variety of courses, portfolios were created and reflections provided by individuals, teams and facult y. Hyperlinks between individual, group and course portfolios and a community of learners that included faculty and students, as well as collaborating agencies will be shared.
John McCahan Medical Campus Education Day
Harnessing the Power of Twitter for Faculty and Student Development
James Wolff, M.D., Marion McNabb, M.P.H., Affan Shaikh, M.P.H., Alejandra Barrero, M.D.
In this workshop participants will develop hands-on experience with Twitter and the associated analytics available on the Web to assess Twitter use in the classroom. In workshop format, participants will learn how Twitter can be integrated into existing course design to strengthen social cohesion, to increase professional networking, and to keep current with new developments in their field. Participants will set up a Twitter account (if they don’t already have one) and explore tools available for encouraging and analyzing student participation. At the end of the workshop participants will explore the benefits and limitations of integrating Twitter into course design.
Making Global Public Health Education Real: Expanding the Classroom with International Partners, Malcolm Bryant, Jessica Charles & James Wolff (SPH)
Boston University Annual Conference for Excellence In Teaching
As professionals working in low and middle income countries, our graduates often end up running programs which face enormous implementation challenges. We created this class to give students the opportunity to apply project implementation skills learned in the classroom in a real international setting. In order to provide this practical experience for our students, we engaged BU faculty residing in developing countries to work with our students to facilitate linkages between developing country health care organizations and student-led consultant teams. These faculty all had appointments in the Department of International Health and were resident in India, Zambia, Lesotho, and South Africa. We then worked with the faculty to identify local organizations and to create a series of consultant scopes of work aimed at solving real challenges faced by those organizations. The scopes of work corresponded with two week modules in work planning, human resource management, pharmaceutical management, information management, quality improvement, and financial management. In week one of each module, students prepared for the module by watching recorded lectures and read assigned material. In class, they applied these concepts and skills using case scenarios, role plays and other class exercises. In preparation for the second class, students were given a scope of work specific to their organization and its needs. They were challenged to use their international faculty as resources to complete a set of deliverables as outlined in the scope of work and prepare a consultant report to present in the second class. In presenting the deliverables from each consulting assignment, a different mechanism was used for each block; presentation to a panel of peers, reverse reporting, participation in a competition for funding, process mapping, and cluster critique.
Using Twitter: Harnessing the Power of Social Media for Professional Development, James Wolff & Alejandra Barrero-Castillero (SPH)
Paper presented at Conference for Excellence In Teaching, Boston University
Since its introduction in March 2006, Twitter has become a popular tool for social networking and the exchange of information in many different areas. In our course, Maternal and Child Health (MCH) in Developing Countries (IH887), at the School of Public Health, we tested the assumption that incorporating Twitter into our course design would facilitate learning about MCH by providing an opportunity to connect to innovative individual and organizational experience in MCH.
The goal of this innovation was to use Twitter as a professional tool to communicate and interact with other Global Health practitioners, researchers, and organizations. Our specific objectives were to: develop skills to distinguish and categorize important information, expand personal networks, share key resources in maternal and child health, learn to write succinct and thoughtful messages, encourage student-faculty interaction.
We incorporated Twitter into our course design and surveyed our students at baseline and at the end of the course. We found that students easily accepted using Twitter to connect with other professionals and with each other and by in large enjoyed the experience. At baseline, less than half of the students reported that they understood how Twitter worked and less than a quarter had Twitter accounts. At the end of course, however, about three quarters of the students reported that they believed that “Twitter can be an effective tool to facilitate learning.”
We categorized the major benefits of using Twitter as increased global health knowledge, exposure to global health news, increased interaction between students and other experts in the field, and learning how to use Twitter. The social impact of Twitter can be harnessed for variety of purposes in teaching settings. It is now widely used in journalism, marketing, politics, medicine, TV, and radio among others. The ground rules for using this technology are still developing. Users who are innovating with Twitter in the classroom will help determine appropriate practices for effective use. Teachers might consider incorporating Twitter into their course to expand information exchange and promote student interaction with other professionals.
Engaging Students with Social Media Tools
Promoting Student Centered Learning in East Africa
NEFDC Fall 2011 Conference
James Wolff MD, Karen Tombs EdD, and Rob Schadt EdD
Muhimbili University for Health and Allied Sciences in Tanzania is collaborating with the Dartmouth Institute for Health Care Improvement and the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) to promote public health infrastructure in Tanzania. A principal goal for this international partnership is to strengthen the educational program for the country's leading academic institution through integrated course design and teaching strategies to foster student centered learning. This workshop explores some of the cultural dimensions to be acknowledged when this educational approach is imported into a different culture and to better understand the implications of this approach to learning and the student experience.
An international collaboration is ongoing between Muhimbili University for Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) in Dar Es Salam, Tanzania, the Dartmouth Institute for Health Care Improvement and BUSPH to promote public health infrastructure in Tanzania, East Africa. Integral to this international partnership is sharing best practices to promote curriculum development, faculty development, and technology and resource development at MUHAS and in the School of Public Health and Social Sciences in particular. Although the current literature on learning science and student achievement supports a student centered learning philosophy such an approach is often presented as culturally independent. As a result of this international collaboration we are beginning to better understand the implications this approach brings to course design and student experience in East Africa. At the same time it forces us to carefully reconsider these implications for our western culture and for the widely diverse populations which inhabit our classrooms. This work shop explores not only some of the cultural dimensions that need to be acknowledged when a specific educational approach is imported into a different culture, but also how these dimensions shape our own goals and strategies.
In the session we will share several activities conducted with MUHAS faculty around discussion based teaching. A very brief review of the concepts of integrated course design and goals for significant learning will be provided through the Self Directed Guide to Integrated Course Design (Fink 2003) . Attention will be given to the role of the instructor dimension in a student centered learning environment considering components identified by Blumberg (2009) including 1) organization and use of material to accommodate different learning styles, 2) alignment of course components (goals, activities and assessments), 3) methods appropriate for student learning goals, 4) activities involving student, instructor, and content interaction, 5) articulation of SMART objectives, and 6) intrinsic motivation to learn.  A rubric to assess this dimension for each participant will be distributed for future consideration.
A major section of the workshop will revolve around a case initially provided by The Center for Case Study Teaching in Science (University of Buffalo) which has been re-written for the African context and was used in our work with MUHAS. In the case, “Castor Sanguya, Assistant Professor: A Dilemma in Case Teaching”, a young faculty member interested in promoting active learning struggles through the potential pitfalls of employing discussion teaching methods much to the displeasure of students (and administration). Working in small groups participants will discuss the case guided by discussion questions. Each group will be asked to consider and plan for role playing the case. One group will be selected to enact the role play in front of the entire group. After the role play a debriefing and discussion will follow. We plan to bring a Tanzanian student studying at Dartmouth or BUSPH to contribute to the discussion.
While we may employ what seem to be sound pedagogical strategies based on the science of learning we often don't fully understand the implications of culture on the effectiveness of our course designs and teaching strategies. When we are able to travel into new environments to promote our ideas or when we share ideas with those who have done so we realize those limitations and when we reflect on these in our own setting, we learn about our own assumptions and beliefs about teaching and learning.
- Review of concepts of integrated course design (alignment of objectives, activities and assessment) and significant learning.
- Additional insight brought to the understanding of who our students are and how their values and beliefs can affect our classrooms
Target Audience: Faculty, faculty developers, and administrators at all experience levels.
Session activities and plan for interaction:
• Overview of MUHAS-Dartmouth-BUSPH Project (5 minutes)
• Cross Cultural Challenges of Student Centered Learning (10 minutes)
• Discussion of a case in small groups (10 minutes)
• Role Play (10 minutes)
• Discussion (15 minutes)
• Summary (5 minutes)
When facilitating this type of work educators must be open to seeing and learning more about the educational process beyond their own cultural context. Participants will have a better understanding of adapting their teaching techniques in new and different contexts as well as in familiar ones. We may be wise to consider this quote by author Julie Orringer -
“Try to understand that there is a larger world than the one you inhabit.”
 (2003) Fink, L.D. Creating Significant Learning Experiences. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
 (2009) Blumberg, P. Developing Learner Centered Teaching: A Practical Guide for Faculty. Jossey Bass: San Francisco:
June 8, 2011
One of the greatest challenges facing public health educators is documenting and accurately assessing the learning that takes place in the classroom. A digital portfolio (e-portfolio from digication.com) provides an exciting, new, and innovative way of reflecting on the learning experience in the classroom, documenting the competencies and skills acquired during a course, making learning visible by creating a permanent record of classroom activities, and assessing the progress and competence of students. It can also be used outside the classroom to provide an ongoing record of evidence of skills and competencies. In this workshop we will review the ways in which we have used e-portfolios inside and outside our classroom and discuss how e-portfolios might be incorporated into different types of educational activities. E-portfolio is available free to everyone with a bu.edu email address and we will provide a hands-on introduction to creating an e-portfolio in the computer lab.
Public Health, Medicine, and Dentistry as Partners in Community Health:
A Pioneering Initiative in Interprofessional, Practice-Based Education
Lois McCloskey, DrPH, MPH; Rebecca Condon, MPH; Christopher W. Shanahan, MD, MPH; James Wolff, MD, MPH, MAT; Corinna Culler, DrPH, RDH; Richard Kalish, MD, MPH, MS
J Public Health Management Practice, 2011, 17(4), 1–10
Copyright 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Context: As public health challenges grow more complex, the
call for professional education to be interprofessional,
collaborative, and grounded in real world practice has
Objective: In this article, we describe the
development, implementation, and results of one pioneering
course at Boston University that aims to prepare public health,
medical, and dental students for their combined roles in
community health settings. Setting and Participants: The
Schools of Public Health, Medicine, and Dental Medicine jointly
offered the course in partnership with 3 community
organizations. Participants include MPH, MD, and DMD
candidates. Intervention: The course design integrates the use
of “The Challenge Model” (created by Management Sciences for
Health) with training in public health consultation techniques (eg,
community-based participatory research, logic models,
monitoring and evaluation). Teams of 6 to 8 medical and public
health students collaborate with managers and staff of a
community health center to address 1 organizational challenge
and recommend a sustainability plan. Results: Postcourse
evaluations revealed that a cross-disciplinary, practice-based
education model is feasible and can meet students’ learning
objectives and exceed expectations of community partners. We
overcame formidable obstacles related to the “silo’ed” nature of
academic institutions and the competing priorities within
overburdened community organizations. We found that sustained
project implementation was attained at some but not all sites, yet
all sites highly valued the perspective and contribution of student
Conclusion: Dynamic and replicable, this practice-based
education model is adaptable to professional schools whose
work intersects in the real world and calls for collaborative
KEY WORDS: campus-community partnerships, collaborative
leadership, community health, competency-based education,
dental education, health professions education reform,
interprofessional education, medical education,
practice-based education, public health education,
Expanding the Ivory Tower: Creating Educational Partnerships for Global Health, Third Annual Conference on Excellence in Teaching, March, 2011, James Wolff & Montia Baba Djara (SPH).
A frequent complaint of master’s degree global public health students is the lack of connection between coursework and the real problems of the workplace. This presentation describes an innovative strategy for providing real world public health experience in a classroom setting. For our program design course, we worked with an international NGO partner to develop course consultant teams. Each team chose a specific region and public health challenge in line with our partner’s mission. Consultant teams designed and presented to our partner organization a public health program to address this challenge. Our partnership helped achieve several major educational objectives; real world application of academics, learning how to translate evidenced based results into action, learning essential elements of program design and proposal development, building team skills and learning from others, and building student confidence. Forming an educational-practice partnership allowed us to more than achieve our goals and objectives for the course and was useful in growing the practice portfolio of our organizational partner.
Using ePortfolios to Document, Present, and Assess Public Health Competencies and Skills Learned in the Classroom, Third Annual Conference on Excellence in Teaching, March, 2011, James Wolff & Monita Baba Djara (SPH).
A digital portfolio can be a powerful tool for reflecting on the learning experience in the classroom, documenting the competencies and skills acquired during a course, making learning visible by creating a permanent record of classroom activities, and assessing the progress and competence of students. In this presentation we will describe how we have used digital portfolios (ePortfolio from digication.com) in three different courses. We will discuss how to overcome barriers to the use of ePortfolios in the classroom and offer suggestions for integrating ePortfolios into a course curriculum.
Knocking down the ivory tower: creating educational partnerships for global health, James A. Wolff, Monita Baba Djara, Cristin Marona. Boston University, Boston, MA, Consortium for University Partnerships, Transforming Global Health: The Interdisciplinary Power of Universities, Annual Meeting
Objective: A frequent complaint of Master’s degree Global Public Health students is the lack of connection between coursework and real world problems that they will face on the job. . Our challenge was to design a course that gave students the opportunity to experience real public health activities and gain concrete skills that they could confidently take into the field. At the same time we wanted to provide professional networking opportunities for students and foster practice-educational partnerships that would benefit both parties. Background: We inherited a course on Global Health program design and implementation that provided students with theoretical knowledge and practice but lacked a real world connection. In order inspire students and provide an opportunity to practice program design skills, we sought out and developed a partnership with a small international public health organization open to being a part of our training team.
Methods: We formed a partnership with a small organization, Circle for Health International (COHI), whose mission is to build the capacity of women’s health care providers in crisis settings. Working as a team we designed coursework to incorporate the COHI’s needs with the learning goals and objectives of our course. Our partnering organization needed to expand their operations and move into new areas and our students needed to learn how to design a public health program. Students were given a charge by the director to research, design, and write a proposal that was in line with the mission and capacity of the organization, research potential funders, and develop a presentation for the board of directors. The director of the organization fully participated in the training team and was available for consultation as the proposals were developed by the student teams.
Results: The results exceeded our expectations. Students not only engaged in the learning process and produced high quality, submission ready proposals but they also became personally invested in COHI’s success. As an indication of their enthusiasm, students presented posters of their program proposals to a summit hosted by COHI after the course was finished and have continued to assist in obtaining funding for the projects. For their part, COHI is exploring ways to further engage BUSPH students to play key roles in future development of these programs.
Conclusion: Forming an educational-practice partnership allowed us to more than achieve our goals and objectives for the course. Students were excited to learn and fully engaged in the process. A small organization received much needed expertise in growing their practice portfolio. As instructors we were privileged to participate in a valuable learning experience that continued on after the end of the course.
Using e-portfolios for presenting public health competencies and skills, Consortium for University Partnerships, Transforming Global Health: The Interdisciplinary Power of Universities, 2010 Annual Meeting, James A. Wolff, Monita Baja Djara, Cristin Marona. Boston University, Boston, MA
Objective: One of the greatest challenges facing public health educators is to assess and document the learning that takes place in the classroom. This paper reports on the use of e-portfolio (digication.com) as a platform for reflecting on the learning experience in the classroom and documenting the competencies and skills acquired during a course. Background: To create an e-portfolio a student collects and presents evidence of what is being taught and learned in the classroom. This evidence can be provided in the form of reflection demonstrating critical thinking and problem solving or as work products. Use of e-portfolios in our courses provides an opportunity for reflection, assessment, and demonstration of competencies acquired during course work. Once developed students can continue to build their e-portfolios in multiple courses and in their practicum in order to create a body of evidence that can be used by employers and other stakeholders to assess their educational preparation and public health skills and competencies.
Methods: In our course on program design students were introduced to the concept of an e-portfolio. From the first day of class we invited them to begin documenting and reflecting on the key components of program design. We emphasized that this would provide an opportunity to showcase their program design skills by reflecting on and presenting the different components of the program design process. To encourage their participation we asked a talent manager from a global health firm to discuss the value of an e-portfolio and to identify the type of evidence that would demonstrate competency and skill in program design to a prospective employer. At the end of the course we asked students to work in teams to review and present their individual e-portfolios. Students were assessed using a rubric examining themes identified, content selected, use of media, creativity, effectiveness in demonstrating competency and connecting to future work in public health. We then asked each team to develop a new, collaborative e-portfolio bringing together the best elements of each individual e-portfolio and to present it to the class.
All students responded to our post-course anonymous survey. 70% of the students felt that the e-portfolio was either vital or important to the course. The open ended questions revealed that students understood the purpose of the e-portfolio and were able to easily master the skills required to create one. Many have continued to develop their e-portfolios since the end of the course. For faculty the e-portfolios provided an excellent assessment tool, making visible the individual learning and the public health skills acquired during the class.
Conclusion: Integrating e-portfolios into a course provides an effective way to assess learning and document competencies acquired by students during a course.
Using Camtasia to leverage class time for application, Consortium for University Partnerships,Transforming Global Health: The Interdisciplinary Power of Universities, 2010 Annual Meeting, James A. Wolff, Monita Baba-Djara, Cristin Marona. Boston University, Boston, MA
Objective: For practice based teaching finding enough class time for students to apply their knowledge is critical. In our course on program design at Boston University School of Public Health we used Camtasia (recording software developed by TechSmith) to maximize class time for applied exercises. With Camtasia we created interactive videos of lecture material that could be viewed by students’ on-demand outside of class. Background: Camtasia videos (Camcasts) are quick, easy, and inexpensive to produce. We developed our Camcasts using PowerPoint to structure and visual support for the presentation. Camcasts varied in length from 30 to 60 minutes depending on the topic. Each Camcast featured an expert who provided his experience and perspective on the topic being covered. Experts were recruited from professional international health organizations and academia. The Camcasts took the form of conversations between the expert and the professors. The Camcasts were available for download or for on-line listening on our course website.
Methods: During class students were asked to act as consultants to Circle of Health International (COHI), a small, local international public health organization. The executive director COHI was present in class to provide guidance on her organization’s mission, values, resources and needs. In class, working in consultant teams and using a structured process, students designed a public health program for COHI in Nigeria, Afghanistan, and Mali. Before each class students listened to the Camcasts to learn the fundamentals of situation analysis, needs assessment, monitoring and evaluation, budgeting, and finding a suitable donor for a project. During class they applied the fundamental concepts covered in the Camcasts to design their program.
Results: After completing the course we used an anonymous survey to assess satisfaction with the use of the Camcasts to reduce the didactic components of the course and free up class time for application activities. The results were very positive. 90% of students polled stated that they would like to see more Camcasts in their courses.
Camcasts offered an opportunity to bring experts from the field into the learning experience, maximize class time for application and provide continued access to learning materials after the end of the course.
Leading Community Health Initiatives, Medicine and Public Health as Partners, Conference on Excellence in Teaching at Boston University, Rebecca Condon, MPH, Lois McCloskey, MPH, DrPH, James Wolff, MD, MPH, MAT, Christopher Shanahan, MD, MPH, Richard Kalish, MD, MPH, MS, Marcy 26, 2010.
Using Camtasia, A workshop presented for the McCahan Education Day, Rob Schadt ED.M, James Wolff MD, MPH, MAT, Cristin Marona, Wayne La Morte MD, MPH, June 2010.
Medicine and Public Health Partnering to Lead Community Health Initiatives - A Community-Based Course for Future Health Professional, a poster presentation for the McCahan Education Day, Rebecca Condon, MPH; Lois McCloskey, MPH, DrPH; James Wolff, MD, MPH, MAT; Christopher W. Shanahan, MD, MPH; Richard Kalish, MD,MPH,MS, June 2010. View the poster content.
Medicine and Public Health Partnering to Lead Community Health Initiatives - A Community-Based Course for Future Health Professionals, Rebecca Condon, MPH; Lois McCloskey, MPH, DrPH; James Wolff, MD, MPH, MAT; Christopher W. Shanahan, MD, MPH; Richard Kalish, MD,MPH,MS; accepted for APHA, November 2010. Read the abstract.
The Job Interview: An Innovative Assessment Method for Practice Based Learning
James Wolff, MD, MPH, MAT, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Monita Baba-Djara, MS, DrPH candidate, email@example.com; School of Public Health, Department of International Health, 715 Albany Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02118, Telephone: 617-638-5399
The job interview proved to be an effective tool to assess learning acquired during five technical workshops focused on building practice based knowledge and skills. In addition to assessing foundational knowledge and its application, the job interview allowed instructors to assess other dimensions of significant learning (integration, the human dimension, caring and learning how to learn) that are often difficult to measure using traditional assessment tools. Students found the assessment valuable because it helped them review and synthesize material covered in the technical workshops as well as learn and practice important practical skills. Finally, the job interview also allowed us to achieved close alignment of goals, activities, and assessment fundemental to successful course design.
Instructors creating practice based learning environments can easily adapt the job interview to the material covered in their own courses. The job interview provides an innovative and effective assessment method to measure student achievement in all six areas of significant learning. In addition, our experience to date indicates that students find great value in participating in this type of assessment.
Link to the Presentations from the Conference on Excellence In Teaching
Becoming a Reflective Practitioner Using E-portfolios
New England Faculty Development Consortium
November 13, 2009
James Wolff, Rob Schadt
Health leaders in India are building a new infrastructure for public health including new schools of public health. Through the Boston University Global Health Initiative BUSPH developed a program for developing faculty for these new schools, the Teach the Teacher to Teach Program (T5). Prospective faculty attend a three-week course designed to explore public health curriculum design, delivery and the leadership skills. Through a mixed format of practice teaching, didactic lectures, experiential learning and reflective writing participants develop an e-portfolio including a teaching philosophy and curriculum module. This session will review our teaching portfolio process and explore with participants how to document the process of becoming a reflective practitioner who collects evidence of his or her own learning.
Making Learning Visible II:
The Boston University E-Portfolio Conference
Rob Schadt and James Wolff, Teaching Ourselves to Teach Through Technology
Practice Based Teaching Innovations for Significant Learning in International Public Health
Poster presentation McCahan Education Day
J. Wolff, M. Burtch, A. Muralidharan, June 4, 2009.
Simulating Service Integration in Public Health: A Classroom Role-Play
Aiesha L. H. Garrett, M.P.H., Kristin Eifler, Kathleen Mitchell,
Devina Patel, James A. Wolff, M.D., M.P.H
Paper and Presentation for the Conference on Excellence In Teaching, Boston University.
The Immunization and Bed Net Distribution Exercise demonstrates the complex nature of integrated approaches to public health service delivery, particularly in low-resource settings, such as developing countries. Although integrating two seemingly independent programs in public health may, in theory, seem most effective and cost-saving, in practice, many challenges must be addressed. For example, when considering carrying out an immunization campaign to vaccinate children for measles and other illnesses alongside an Insecticide-Treated Bed Nets (ITNs) distribution campaign to lower malaria morbidity and mortality, several social factors must be considered to determine the most effective integrated delivery strategy. Simply aiming to tackle both health issues at once is not a guarantee for success.
A workshop presented for the McCahan Education Day
Rob Schadt ED.M, James Wolff MD, MPH, MAT, Monita Burtch MS, DrPH(c), Wayne La Morte MD, MPH.. Katie Poirier, MPH(c), June 2009.
Web-based professional development programs
APHA Panal Presentation Nov 2006
James A. Wolff, MD, MPH, MAT, Management Sciences for Health, Boston University School of Public Health and Boston University School of Public Health, 784 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 01239.
This paper reviews three different web-based professional development programs; MSH's Virtual Leadership Development Program (VLDP), USAID's Global Health E-learning Program, and the Moroccan International Virtual Conference on Safe Motherhood hosted by the Moroccan Ministry of Health. Although these three programs provide very different web-based learning environments, each provides to some extent the essential elements identified for effective computer based learning by Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000)*. Their model, which they call a model of community inquiry, has three elements essential to the educational transaction: cognitive presence, social presence and teaching presence. This paper will present the learning objectives and the design of each program and explore the different ways that these programs set climate, selected content, and created structure, process, and discourse to achieve Garrison's three elements of effective web-based education.
Global health on-line learning
Abstract #116608, American Public Health Association, 2006
James A. Wolff, MD MPH1, Jennifer Stavrou Rodine, MPH1, Chris Davis, MFA2, and Jim Shelton, MD MPH3. (1) Electronic Products Group, Management Sciences for Health, 784 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 01239, (2) The INFO Project, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for Communication Programs, 111 Market Place, Baltimore, MD 21202, (3) U.S. Agency for International Development, Ronald Reagan Building, Washington, DC 20523-1000.
Managing health service organizations in today’s rapidly changing environment requires strong and effective leadership and management skills from a key number of senior staff. Until recently, however, providing training to these managers has been difficult because of the travel and facility costs required to reach a critical mass of managers within an organization. Internet technologies have provided a new means of reaching large numbers of managers within an organization and working with them over time to strengthen their management team by building both individual and team leadership and management skills. At Management Sciences for Health, a non-profit international public health management consulting company, we have developed a program that blends individual internet based training with internet-based facilitation of management teams in the workplace. This presentation will describe our Virtual Leadership Development Program and how we build organizational capacity through virtual training, coaching and support of senior management teams.