An Experiential Learning Exercise in Food-Borne Illness Outbreak Investigations: Bridging Education and Experience

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Abstract

Conducting engaging experiential learning exercises is an exceptional strategy for teaching multidisciplinary teams of public health students. The objective of this article is to present an experiential student-driven exercise through a simulated food-borne outbreak. Through this process, students gain an understanding of the steps of an outbreak investigation, Incident Command Systems; identify and calculate appropriate measures of association; develop a questionnaire; and refine their communication techniques. This exercise is also unique in that it was codesigned by graduate teaching assistants who had previously taken the course. These targeted learning objectives created for students, and by students, allow for the development of peer-based training and also serve as a learning experience for student alumni. The authors provide all the needed teaching materials to provide an easy-to-follow guide for others to conduct similar exercises with their students.

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