Descriptive Best Practices, Blending Pedagogical Approaches in Public Health Education: The ADOPT Model

McKinley Thomas, Georgia Southern University
Lesley Clack, Armstrong Atlantic State University
Sara S. Plaspohl, Georgia Southern University


Background: Developmental groundwork in the health professions begins with specialized training, knowledge acquisition, and critical thinking skills, each reliant on authentic pedagogical approaches. In response to student recommendations, and to provide a novel approach to content delivery, the authors developed a theory-based teaching model focused on activity, discussion, objectives, presentation, and transition (ADOPT).

Purpose: The purpose of this article is to discuss the ADOPT model, evaluative data, and potential uses within the public health classroom.

Method: To date, the model has been implemented within five content areas: disease continuum, epidemiology, environmental health, human sexuality, and research methods. Each classroom session focused on content-specific material delivered through each of the five model components with delivery order unique to each session. At the conclusion of the semester, students were asked to complete a 15-item Likert-type survey and two open-ended items regarding model efficacy.

Evaluation: Assessment results from 119 students are encouraging. Measures of general course efficacy were similar between undergraduate and graduates with mean 10-point Likert-type scores of 8.3 and 8.5, respectively. Both groups reported 8.1 when asked about the benefits of the multimodal approach. Average scores on five items related to model components were 8.1 for undergraduates and 7.9 for graduates. The discussion component was given the highest score, whereas “group work” was given the lowest.

Conclusion: The ADOPT model offers a promising approach toward delivery of public health content. Future iterations will enhance group interactions and explore model use within the context of distributive learning.