This learning material "Explores factors associated with disease emergence & re-emergence & considers the human activities that can increase or decrease the likelihood of outbreaks of infectious diseases. Students play the role of epidemiologists looking for clues to solve the case of a mystery disease, watch simulations of herd immunity & the impact of vaccination programs, & assign limited funds to three proposals submitted to address a major infectious disease. (NIH) The target audience is grades 9-12."
“Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases is designed to help students develop the following major goals associated with biological literacy: (1) to understand a set of basic scientific principles related to emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, (2) to experience the process of inquiry and develop an enhanced understanding of the nature and methods of science, and (3) to recognize the role of science in society and the relationship between basic science and personal and public health.”
Target Student Population:
The target population is listed as grades 9-12 on the site. However, it could be used in basic college microbiology courses as supplement or refresher.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Prerequisites include basic course/knowledge about bacteria and viruses and basic biology vocabulary.
Computer skills to read and write and use computers and media at the 9-12th grade level.
Type of Material:
Online Course with complete learning package regarding the material: Teachers guide, student guide, objectives, correlations with standards, accessibility, videos, exercises, quizzes, readings.
The recommended uses include in class activity or as an outside individual assignment. The resource provides investigative problem-solving for students.
• Pentium class IBM Compatible w/ Windows 95 or higher, with 64 MB RAM (96 or 128 MB recommended)
• Power PC Macintosh w/ Mac OS 8.6 or newer, with 64 MB RAM (96 or 128 MB recommended)
• Netscape Communicator or Microsoft Internet Explorer Web browser, version 4 or better
• Apple QuickTime Plug-In, version 4 or better installed for your Web browser
• Macromedia Flash Plug-In, version 5 or better installed for your Web browser
• Closed Caption is not working, but that is not the author’s fault. It is a malfunction in Quicktime for the time being
Evaluation and Observation
Covers the topic in depth, but in a concise form that is easy to read, watch and comprehend. Accessibility for 508 is considered in all parts of the web project.
Future developments could include direct links/references to terminology definitions used in the module for second language students. The glossary is a small link at the upper screen and I am not sure what the non web version does. Using hyperlinks from the content with popups or similar would be quicker, but the current glossary is adequate for general use.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
If the instructor/teacher uses active learning exercises such as case problems and the student exercises included, and includes viewing of prepared materials such as bio-slides etc., the students should be actively engaged. This material offers multiple learning methods so that students can grasp the material no matter what their learning style.
The material is thorough, but possibly a little lighter activity or two per section to keep less involved students more actively engaged would be helpful in the future. The simulations are relevant and students need to be engaged at their age level.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The modules are well laid out, they have side bars and top bars for main topics. Accessibility is addressed everywhere since government funded projects must meet 508 standards. Teachers guide contains the student activities manual as well references, links and implementation guidelines. Everything is available for download and printing if needed. Recommendations are to use it in the order presented, but local conditions may indicate other uses and the break down into sections makes it easy to adapt.
The verbiage, for example, Macromedia Flash should be updated to note Adobe.
Other Issues and Comments:
Absolutely lovely. This learning material is excellent. The concepts are presented in a logical and organized as well as engaging manner.