This term, you will put together an informative and educational presentation, blog, or magazine article on a health-related topic. With your project, you will incorporate both outside research and information you obtain yourself through surveys, polls, or interviews.
This project has two parts:
Part 1: Your project proposal, due Monday, March 2, 2015 by noon
Part 2: Your complete project, due Wednesday, June 10, 2015 by noon
Project Topics: You may use any of the suggestions and probes below as ideas for your project.
Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events (including disease), and the application of this study to the control of diseases and other health problems. Field epidemiologists help figure out the source of disease outbreaks and put in place measures to control outbreaks once they identify a cause. For this topic, inform your audience about where epidemiologists work and what types of measures they use to control outbreaks. Discuss a significant outbreak that has affected a large number of people (e.g. measles at Disneyland or Ebola Virus Disease) – how many people were affected; were there deaths/hospitalizations; how did the figure out the source; what information was provided to the public; how was the outbreak controlled; what preventive measures are in place? Lastly, discuss the preparations needed to become an epidemiologist (schooling, experience, etc.).
What exactly does it mean to be a vegetarian these days? How many people in the US are vegetarians? What are their reasons for becoming vegetarians? What do the experts say – is vegetarianism healthy? Discuss some organizations that encourage/support vegetarianism (e.g. PETA). What methods do they use to promote their messages? If you choose this topic, it must expand beyond the information covered in the book.
Health Care Reform
What exactly is going on with the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare)? Are you concerned about health care? Who has enrolled? What are the benefits? What are the challenges with this system? How does the Affordable Care Act compare to healthcare in other countries? What do your peers think about health care?
There are many different systems in place to make sure that consumers stay safe when eating out. For example, LA and Orange County use a grading system while Long Beach uses a rating system. How do these systems work? Are they effective? How often are restaurants inspected? What are the qualifications of those who inspect them? What kinds of things are food inspectors looking for and why? What does it take for a restaurant to get shut down? Do people put much confidence in the grades/ratings given by the inspectors? How do local systems compare to systems used in other counties, states, or countries?
In the US, we have seen life expectancy increase over the last several decades – we discuss some of the reasons for this in class. What impact does this have on our society? How are the elderly regarded? What are the implications of an aging population on the healthcare system? Is 65 still a realistic retirement age? Discuss Medi-Caid – do younger individuals believe it will be around when they need it?
E-cigarettes are relatively new – they’re battery-powered electronic cigarettes that heat flavored liquid nicotine into a vapor users can inhale. How do e-cigarettes work? Are they a good alternative to traditional cigarettes? Might they serve as a gateway to tobacco products? Can they be used as a means of smoking cessation? What laws have some cities put in place around vaping? How expensive are e-cigarettes? Might they be attractive to children/teens? Are vaping shops trendy – have people noticed more of them over the past year? What is the public perception about e-cigarettes?
Create Your Own!
Pick a health-related topic that we do not cover in detail during the semester and discuss it in your proposal. After reviewing your proposal, I will let you know if you can move forward with the topic for your final project.
Again, the questions under each of these categories are not prescriptive – they’re probes, meant to give you ideas on how to focus your project.
PowerPoint Presentation: You can set up a PowerPoint presentation (or similar presentation software) that could be used to give a training/presentation on your selected topic to a specific audience. Typically, PowerPoints use bullet points to provide the information the speaker would like to have highlighted. If you choose this type of presentation, you would provide more detailed information (e.g. what you would say during your talk) in the Speaker’s Notes for each slide. These types of presentations often incorporate pictures, graphics, and charts to keep participants engaged or to underscore points made during the lesson. The presentation should last approximately 12 minutes long (if you were to present it yourself with the information in the speaker’s notes – that’s about 1 slide per minute, not counting the title, references, and other slides that do not have information on which you’d dedicate a lengthy amount of time). If you would like to use this method but do not have access to PowerPoint, let me know in your Project Proposal.
Blog: Blogs are used in a variety of different ways. What’s common is that they use sequential posts listed on one page with the most recent post at the top. Bloggers typically post a few times a day or week, and often stick to a particular theme or topic with their posts. For this option, you can set up your own blog (several free options: wordpress.com, blogger.com/Google Blogger, tumblr.com, for example) – just make sure that it is public so that I can see it. For your project, you will create 10-15 informative, well written, engaging posts that inform and educate your particular audience. Often, bloggers will use photos or videos to further engage readers, or embed links from other website and provide commentary. For the final project, you will provide me with the web address to your blog and I will review all of the posts – you should make it appear as if they’ve been posted on a regular basis; however, I will not know when you posted your information so feel free to enter all your posts at once if you’d like (you can enter any date/time that you’d like for blog posts, even if it’s in the past).
Magazine Article: We’re all familiar with glossy magazine spreads that go in-depth on a particular topic. This option is no different. You’ll assemble a multi-page article complete with captioned photos, graphics, and charts highlighting your topic of interest. The text of the article should be no fewer than 1,600 words.
Secondary Data: At least two sources must be from the following: peer-reviewed journal article, article from a reputable newspaper or magazine, or a book. You must site these references throughout your paper (e.g. when quoting statistics or other information) and provide detailed information about the sources in a bibliography (in the Final project only).
Original Data: Additionally, you must collect information/data from others, such as how a reporter obtains information from sources. You can collect this information using interviews (with subject matter experts or from people expressing their opinions, for example), from questionnaires, polls (e.g. you can post a question on your Facebook page and see what kind of comments/feedback you receive), or other means. You can collect this information from friends, family members, other students, or professionals (be courteous, stating that you would like to ask questions of them for a school project) – just be sure that individuals are at least 18 years of age. The point of this is to supplement the research you’ve obtained from your first two sources and provide a little color to your presentation. For example, if someone did a project on the different kinds of condoms available, s/he might ask a few friends if what they looked for when buying condoms (price, lubricant, brand, etc.).
Optional sources: These may include websites, brochures, or pamphlets.
Project Proposal – Due Monday, March 2nd (In essay/paragraph form, not bullets)
Tell me about what you plan to do with your project:
What is your health topic? Why does this topic interest you?
Who is your audience?
What are your learning objectives (see the syllabus for examples of learning objectives)?
What forum/method will you use for your project? (PPT, blog, or article)
What data do you plan to collect on your own and how will you collect it? Who will you collect data from?
Final Project – Due Wednesday, June 10, 2015 by noon
Upload your article, PowerPoint, or link to your blog site (you can just paste the url/website name along with your bibliography). More information about expectations for the final project will be posted at a later date.
Final Project samples are available under Week 3. A scoring rubric is posted under Course Information.
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