Although most of the lecturing in public health in South-Africa still takes place during face-to-face contact, online teaching becomes more and more important. For the Centre for Evidence-based Health Care (CEBHC) at Stellenbosch University I developed online learning packages.
The two packages discussed how to read case control studies and cohort studies and were part of a project to integrate evidence based medicine in the undergraduate curricula at the University.
Each package that I made included the following:
- Key readings on case control or cohort studies
This included a short text discussing the most important features of case control / cohort studies with links to the most recent/relevant articles on these topics: Design incl. (dis)advantages; Selection of participants including selection bias; Measurement of exposure / outcome including information bias; Measures of frequency and association: odds ratio (OR) / relative risk (RR); control for confounding, looking at effect modification: stratification, regression analysis; criteria for causality; Strobe statement.
These short PowerPoint presentations with voice over focused on the most difficult topics as discussed in the key readings: Overview of the different measures of frequency and association (especially differences in interpretation); Simple examples clarifying confounding versus effect modification by means of stratification
- Critical appraisal assignment
Students would need to critically review an article from the literature (a study using a case control or cohort design) using a standard checklist. I made a worked example of the assessment.
Last year the packages have been included in the curriculum and my client indicated that they were working very well.