I am going to look at a couple of classic models, Tuberculosis and Human Genetics. I probably would never teach Tuberculosis but I think it would be interesting. I have designed and co-taught something very similar to Human Genetics called DNA & Society. Below is my analysis of each model.
Based on the science topics and assignments I would say that the goals for this course are for students to learn
1) introductory molecular biology (at the DNA level) of Tuberculosis
2) how Tuberculosis develops and is transmitted as well as why its spread is so dangerous
3) how to work with others to address a public health problem
4) the relevancy of Tuberculosis to life in the US and how to help eradicate it
The graded assignments for the course that comprised the course grade ,and what I believe to be the reason for the assignment, were:
Participation–to encourage allegiance to the learning community, to require students to be a dependent learners
Small group project–to learn to distribute and contribute to a self-selected project that would lead to greater student investment in learning
Written papers–memo to project report–to improve students’ ability to communicate
Book and website reviews–to incorporate recent technologies, to develop students’ analytical skills, and to ensure material is current and relevant
This model might best be used in introductory or general ed. courses for learners inexperienced in working successfully with others.
This course is for nursing students although I think anyone would find either the basic genetic biology or the social dimension of the Human Genome project fascinating. This model combines those two dimensions and so I believe familiarity with the two dimensions is the goal of the course. The authors state that a goal is to have students be cognizant of how scientists approach and solve problems but I thought this was an ancillary goal at best.
The goals are assessed primarily through exams for the science content (heavily weighted) and through a portfolio of selected artifacts to be evaluated for evaluation of writing skills and ability to apply content to case scenarios or other relevant media (news article summaries).