We used problem-based or experiential learning in our undergraduate Health Policy course to examine food deserts via a health impact assessment (HIA) assignment. A HIA evaluates potential effects on population health before a policy/program is implemented, to improve health and reduce adverse outcomes. We investigated if the HIA assignment facilitated student learning using mixed-methods to descriptively analyze students’ pre-/post-test and peer group assessment surveys, guest lecture reflections, mid-semester evaluations, and HIA research paper reflections. Quantitatively, students’ pre-/post-test ratings of their learning decreased from positive to neutral Likert scale scores, but they rated their group work positively over time. Qualitatively, students learned from community speakers and their research about the challenges of health policy as a pluralistic process and solutions to reducing food insecurity. But, they needed more detailed instructions for their HIA assignment earlier in the semester.
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Rooks, Ronica N. and Dorsey Holliman, Brooke
"Facilitating Undergraduate Learning through Community-Engaged Problem-Based Learning,"
International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning:
2, Article 9.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.20429/ijsotl.2018.120209