Adapting to COVID-19
Since its inception, the Global Health BSc has been taught mostly face-to-face, on the St Mary’s campus, with an element of experiential learning in our local communities over the last 2 years (see CGP placements below). Over the last few months, the Global Health BSc teaching team has been developing a new course which will be delivered in a blended manner, with most contents delivered remotely from September 2020 (for the autumn term).
Students of the 2020/21 cohort will be able to choose, based on preference (and other personal and health considerations), whether they wish to attend 1 week of on-campus teaching during the autumn 2020 term. The remainder of the term will be delivered fully online. During the on-campus week, students who are not able to attend campus will be able to engage in teaching remotely without any disadvantage to their learning. We are in the process of confirming which week will be taught face-to-face and will confirm this with our incoming students by email during the summer.
The new remote course aims to maintain our key learning and teaching principles (student-centered active learning, blended with key expert lectures), learning outcomes and course structure. Please see overview of modules page for more information on course contents and our approach to learning and teaching.
This model of remote teaching follows Imperial College guidance on adaptations to teaching and learning.
College guidance is regularly updated based on the latest government guidance for social distancing and remote working. We hope to be able to offer increased on-campus learning if social distancing measures and College guidance allow this, from January 2021.
Please consult the current college level guidance for students. This guidance is regularly updated and includes student FAQs.
What will a typical day on the Global Health BSc look like in the autumn term 2020?
A typical Monday (Causes of Disease, Morbidity and Mortality Theme) during Module 1 will involve online videos, surveys and forum discussions with some simple tasks followed by a live Q&A with the experts in the field on Teams. This is the day where we cover the basics of the important diseases in Global Health, led by experts in the field.
A typical Tuesday (Skills and Methods in Global Health Theme) will involve some online teaching and live practical using an online portfolio for your mock assessment exercises. This is where you learn how to search for and critically interpret different types of evidence in Global Health from quantitative skills to the basic of qualitative research and making effective infographics.
A typical Friday (Global Health Governance Theme) will involve some online teaching and group work such as flipped classrooms and team-based learning. This is where we learn about the range of Global Health actors and the politics of Global Health, how health systems work, healthcare under conflict, indigenous health and the politics of evidence.
A template of the teaching week
|Causes of Disease, Morbidity and Mortality (Non-Communicable Diseases)||Skills and Methods in Global Health||Self-directed learning||Community Group Placement||Global Health Governance|
|Causes of Disease, Morbidity and Mortality (Infectious Diseases)||Group work for Global Health Governance||Sports afternoon||Community Group Placement (Horizons from 3pm)||Global Health Governance|
Community group placement
The Community group placement (CGP) corresponds to the “Science in Context” module of the intercalated BSc at Imperial College. This is our flagship module for experiential learning. Students take a self-directed learning approach paired with a community-based organisation within London to understand local global health issues and challenges. The work of the organisations are focused on addressing one or more of the social determinants of health which includes, community gardens, open spaces, skills, education, employment, youth mental health, crimes, social inequalities, gender and human rights. Placements provide real-life examples of Global Health issues covered in the classroom, using London as a microcosm for learning global health.
CGP placements typically take place on a Thursday (September – January). Students either attend their placements with their allocated CGP organisation (remotely during the autumn term) or take part in classroom activities. The latter cover the basic concepts required to engage in the Module, such as the role of community in health and global health, and basic skills for collaborating with partner organisations.
How will the CGP Module be adapted to COVID-19?
We are working with the community group partner organisations to explore opportunities for in-person placements towards the beginning of the next term after Christmas in line with government regulations on social distancing and college policy for placement learning. The placements will otherwise be done remotely including the experiential aspects such as taking part in relevant community events and engaging with service users.
Student experience of remote teaching learning during the COVID Lockdown
Ray Wang, a current iBSc Global Health student (2019/20), shares his experience of working on the research project (Module 3) during the COVID19 lockdown (March-May 2020) presents his testimonial as below.
"My original research project was focused around drug access for Cystic Fibrosis and Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. COVID-19 made meetings with patient groups and respiratory consultants – essential for the project, untenable. However, discussions with my supervisor made me realised that the disruption caused by the largest global health crisis of our age could be an opportunity to be seized. My project changed to ‘Investigating the costs of drugs proposed to treat COVID-19’, successfully reusing the same methodology that I have already learnt for Cystic Fibrosis/Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.
I am incredibly grateful my supervisor for his encouragement and support (over many Zoom meetings!) during this stressful period two months in, where I was forced to adapt to the new project direction. In many ways, I thought remote supervision more productive than face-to-face meetings, because everyone could work much more flexibly over emails, phone calls and videoconferences to discuss concerns, questions, or interesting developments in real time. The BSc team was very helpful, rapidly responding to any questions online. In particular, the mock oral presentation, organised by the core BSc team, was extremely useful in helping us to become familiarised with presenting remotely using Microsoft Teams, and also to better understand what was required content-wise before the real assessment. Additionally, the online teaching sessions around specific skills, such as communicating findings to the media, was interesting and useful.
Looking back, the camaraderie within my wider research team – comprised of other students, practicing doctors, and researchers, all working on various COVID-related projects, was motivating and inspirational. I certainly have learnt a lot from being a part of the group and helping in a number of different projects, which ultimately gave me more insights and ideas for an enriched discussion around my published results and contributing to what I hope to be a successful project submission."