Improving Undergraduate Epidemiology Education: An Example Using Instructional Teams

Heidi E. Brown, Jonathan Cox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Epidemiology is a core component of the undergraduate public health curriculum and a critical component of a healthy community and a comprehensive education. Evidence-based, collaborative instructional practices improve student success, reach diverse student populations, and improve learning outcomes. Here we describe the pedagogical approach of an instructional team with which we observed an 18% greater learning gain (95% confidence interval: 6.5, 29.5; t =-3.08; P = 0.002), based on pre-/posttesting in a large (approximately 120 students) undergraduate course, than with the prior course offering. There were no differences in DEW rates (defined as receiving a grade of D (scoring 60%-69%) or E (scoring <60%) or withdrawing (W)) between the 2 offerings, but the ratio of "A"to "B"grades was higher (by approximately 10%) after deployment of the instructional team (Pearson's χ2 (1 degree of freedom) = 4.17, P = 0.041). In addition, students reported greater satisfaction with the course deploying an instructional team (80.4% positive sentiment in course evaluation comments compared with 76.1% in the prior offering). As students and faculty become more familiar with effective evidence-based instructional practices, improvements in student learning can be achieved and the goal of creating an educated citizenry ready to build a healthy society will be more attainable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-312
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021


  • education
  • epidemiology
  • evidence-based instructional practices
  • instructional teams
  • teaching
  • undergraduate education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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