2014 Grant Winner
Debra J.H. Mathews, PhD, MA
Project Title: Ethics and Policy in Synthetic Biology: The Development and Testing of a Massive Open Online Course
Abstract of Project
In 2011, Stanford's Sebastian Thrun held an open online version of his popular course, "Introduction to Artificial Intelligence" - 160,000 people, internationally, took that course. Such massive open online courses (MOOCs) quickly became both pervasive and incredibly popular. To date, only a handful of MOOCs are available on bioethics, and of these, none is directed at scientists themselves. Furthermore, while assessment of computer programming skills and mastering of facts is relatively straightforward even with thousands of students, how best to evaluate learning in humanities courses, including skills such as critical thinking and ethical analysis, remains an open question. This project has a two-fold objective: first, to develop a MOOC on the ethics and policy issues related to synthetic biology; and second, to test different assessment methods within the MOOC environment. The project will also enable personal enhancement of knowledge and skills related to distributed education, in particular assessment in this context; to become a valuable and timely resource within the Berman Institute as it explores the potential of MOOCs, through the institute's course on the ethics of research on human subjects; and to offer the local, national and international community of educators and learners a tested curriculum for this kind of training.
2013 Grant Winners
Julianna Jung, MD
Nicole Shilkofski, MD
Project Title: Design, Implementation and Evaluation of a Novel Simulation Curriculum to Target Early Childhood Mortality Rates in Myanmar and Uganda: A Train-the-Trainer Model Utilizing Medical Students as Peer Educators
Abstract of Project
Early childhood mortality is a major worldwide public health issue, and one of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals is to reduce worldwide mortality rates amongst children under five years old by two thirds. The countries of Myanmar (Burma) and Uganda have high under-five mortality rates (UFMR) and critical shortages of health care providers trained to manage seriously ill children. The goal of this proposal is to improve the quality of basic emergency care for children in Myanmar and Uganda through the development and implementation of a sustainable simulation-based pediatric resuscitation curriculum for medical students in those countries. This will be accomplished through a collaborative peer-education program involving students at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (JHUSOM), Perdana University Graduate School of Medicine (PUGSOM), Yangon Children’s Hospital in Myanmar, and Makerere University College of Health Sciences in Uganda. Senior students at all four institutions will receive intensive training in core pediatric resuscitation skills, after which they will provide training for their junior counterparts in Myanmar and Uganda, with close faculty supervision and quality assurance. The training program will be adapted from established American Heart Association (AHA) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) curricula, with modifications to address local epidemiology and resource constraints. Data collection will focus on knowledge and skill assessment before and after training in order to assess efficacy of the curriculum. In addition to fostering resuscitation competency, this program will provide opportunities for meaningful cross-cultural exchange among students, and will build participants’ skills in teaching, assessment, and educational research. The long-range aim of this proposal is to build a novel, feasible and sustainable educational model in which students can master core resuscitation skills, and subsequently consolidate their knowledge by serving as peer educators, with the goal of developing the skills of new physicians and improving health care quality for children in Myanmar and Uganda. If successful, this model could be applied to other healthcare worker groups, including nurses, midwives, and traditional birth attendants, ultimately decreasing UFMR and improving population health outcomes.