Teaching epidemiology in the digital age: Considerations for academicians and their students



The way in which we prepare future public health professionals is changing because of the digital age. Online education is expanding the accessibility of public health training to students and practitioners with diverse backgrounds. Online courses offer many advantages for students, including flexible schedules, elimination of commuting time, and fostering interactions among students and the instructor. A few disadvantages of online courses for the student can include a feeling of isolation, difficulty adjusting to the time-intensive nature, and the required self-discipline to regularly tend to online course materials that immature and working students can find challenging. For faculty who are faced with teaching epidemiology in these changing times of the traditional face-to-face classroom and the virtual classroom, the core teaching principles of this science of public health remain unchanged, yet how they are delivered in the online environment adds a layer of complexity not previously encountered. This paper presents practical considerations for faculty who will be teaching online and their students who will be learning online. In addition, a framework for an online epidemiology course is presented as a model by which faculty interested in teaching epidemiology online can modify the course structure, content, and assessment tools to fit their needs.


Health Management and Policy

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Annals of Epidemiology



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