Development and Evaluation of a Research Methods Course in Protocol Writing for Learners in a Master of Public Health Program Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Training in research methods is important for improvement of healthcare delivery and population outcomes. Graduate programs of public health play a critical role in offering such education to current and future healthcare professionals as well as entry level learners with no experience in the field. A key skill across all fields of research methods and public health practice is protocol writing. It is unknown if teaching students research methods through protocol writing is a successful strategy and whether students find it to be helpful as they pursue health professions. The objective of this study was to describe the design and evaluation of a research methods course focused on protocol writing among students enrolled a Masters of Public Health Program. A case report design including description of course content, method of evaluation, and course delivery are provided. The setting was the Population and Public Health Research Methods course at a publicly funded institution in Canada. The first three cohorts of students (2016-2018) enrolled in the course were evaluated during the course period and six months after completing the course. A total of 51 students completed the survey, and the majority were students were very or extremely satisfied with the course. Overall students expressed that the course well-prepared them for their practicum or thesis work and post-graduation plans. Findings suggest that using protocol writing as a tool for teaching research methods was well-received by students and prepared them for both their potential career paths and for future research.

publication date

  • February 15, 2022