Forming diverse teams and establishing positive team dynamics were crucial for Sara LeGrand‘s class, Social Determinants of Health: China and the World. Sarah Le Grand is assistant research professor at Duke Global Health Institute. The teams had the serious task of detecting determinants and analyzing their impact on health outcomes and inequities.
Why is a team project important?
The goal of the course taught at Duke Kunshan University (DKU) is to examine a variety of factors that impact current global health. The factors range from living and working conditions, to behavior and biology, psychosocial issues, to health care systems, socioeconomic position, to socioeconomic and political context. In the real world, interdisciplinary teams are needed to solve the most pressing global health challenges. LeGrand’s students were from different backgrounds, majors and career paths, so it’s perfect to form diverse teams, assign teamwork, and allow for application of knowledge to address current global health challenges.
Dr. LeGrand implemented principles of team-building and team work strategies to her class. The class was subdivided into teams on the 4th day of class based on the student information sheet and student self-intro video (discussed in my last blog post). Each team worked together on case study discussions and activities/competitions. The students were asked to sit with their team during each class as well.
What the “Determinant Detectives” team project looks like
The social determinants of health are structural and intermediary factors that are strongly related, either positively or negatively, to health outcomes. As such, Dr. LeGrand designed the team project with this in mind and provided this guidance:
In this class, it is critical that you learn to detect determinants and analyze what impact they may have on health outcomes and inequities. In order to practice the skill and introduce your team, please choose a location on or near the DKU campus and create a 10-minute video (+/- a minute is fine) that introduces your team and explores the determinants of health at this location and the potential impacts of these determinants on health outcomes. As part of the exercise, make certain that the video includes the following:
- Team name and why you chose it
- Team’s key strengths (including what each team member brings to the group)
- Something that gives us a sense of your team’s personality
- Your location during filming
- Analysis of determinants and potential impacts on health outcomes at your location (your analysis of the SDOH [the social determinants of health] is the most important part of this assignment) DO NOT PUT YOURSELF IN DANGER OR BREAK ANY LAWS!!!!
The video below is from the Mountain Top team
The final video was uploaded to VoiceThread, the multimedia presentation, sharing, and commenting system which is integrated into Sakai. In my last blog post, I explained how students first practiced their video skills early in the course by introducing themselves, which prepared the students and paved the way for this team project’s success.
In the course evaluation, the students expressed that they enjoyed and loved the teamwork. Many indicated the video projects were the best part of the course and they learned a lot from the team experience.
Dr. LeGrand teaches Duke students using well-designed teaching techniques and innovative technology to motivate and engage her students. She has traveled all over the world for her research, but teaching at Duke Kunshan University (DKU) was her first time teaching outside of the U.S. In my next blog post, I will discuss her teaching techniques at Duke University.
[Note: The screenshots and the video are from the course site. All rights reserved]