Both the Infectious Disease and Neurological Disorders modules have now been extensively piloted and evaluated over 3 years in high schools in the Boston area. Successful workshops at the National Science Teachers Association conference in 2012 and 2013, extended interest in the curriculum nationwide. This summer the Center offered its second annual professional development workshop in Teaching of Infectious Disease in Boston that was oversubscribed and that has included participants from as far away as Virginia and Pennsylvania, as well as an invited workshop for teachers in Texas. In all the Infectious Disease module has been used in 12 high schools in Boston and elsewhere, while Neurological disorders has been in 5 further schools. All in all nearly 1000 students will have experienced aspects of the Great Diseases Curriculum.
We chiefly measure our success by gains in student engagement with the subject matter, increased content knowledge and improved problem solving and critical thinking abilities. Outcomes assessments are carried out by an independent firm of evaluators and submitted for peer review. Currently our manuscript describing Infectious Disease outcomes has been published in Academic Medicine, the premier medical education journal [link], while a study on the impacts of the curriculum on health literacy has been submitted to a major health communication journal The studies describe students with a broad range of abilities demonstrating robust and reproducible gains in each of the measures. The Neuroscience Disorders module shows similar effects and the data is currently being prepared for publication. The Metabolic Disease module has undergone one round of piloting and revision, and will be piloted for the second time in 2013-2014. The Cancer module will be piloted for the first time in 2014.