Global Public Health

Impact Grant
Date Selected: 
June, 2012
Public Health
Environmental Health Sciences
Project Lead: 
Amy Acton


Dr. Acton and her team began developing an e-textbook for Public Health instruction suitable to replace existing print textbooks in the field. This textbook will provide a core curriculum, making use of digital features to enhance the delivery and currency of information. In addition, Dr. Acton developed a pedagogical model that guides students to develop and contribute material to the e-textbook, the best of which may be incorporated into future editions. The text and curriculum will serve as the basis for the increasing number of sections of this gateway course and be available for adoption by students and instructors at other institutions.


This pilot project ran during Spring 2013. Among the highlights of the project’s successes, the team:

  • Produced inaugural chapter of etextbook and detailed plan for remaining chapters.
  • Assembled team of student-editors to manage production.
  • Students agreed that their course experience gave them a more favorable opinion of the department (98%), and increased interest in taking future courses in public health (99%).
  • Students agreed that instructional technology helped them engage with the content (95%) and peers (93%) and helped create a sense of community (88%).  (In the pre-course survey, fewer students agreed: 84%, 60%, and 51%, respectively.)
  • Gathered dataset of 109 students’ perceptions of instructional technology, especially related to ebooks, at the beginning and end of the course.