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upper left: COVID-19 lung, upper right: atherosclerosis, lower left: Alzheimer’s ameloid paques, lower right: colorectal cancer

PATH 120 - Understanding Human Disease in the 21st Century

 Summer 2021
 Year 1 Optional Course
 9-10 hours/week
 3 units
Online Course

Dr. Cynthia Pruss

The course provides an introduction to human disease and our understanding of key conditions with major global health and societal impact, including cardiovascular, neurological and infectious diseases and cancer. The basic concepts of disease mechanisms and current management will be explored using specific diseases and clinical example cases. To be successful in the course assessments, students will need to progressively build their skills and use the course knowledge to: 1) compare and contrast different disease examples; 2) apply concepts to hypothetical disease scenarios, and 3) communicate concisely and effectively in written and oral forms.

High school biology or equivalent

One Way Exclusion: may not be taken with or after PATH 310, CANC 440

This course will be delivered in a blended format and online.

After completing PATH 120, students will be able to:

  1. Identify and describe mechanisms underlying human disease and be able to recognize potential origins of human disease states.
  2. Assess the individual and population impacts of human disease by effectively researching major issues affecting changes in global health.
  3. Collaborate to communicate an understanding of the causes and implications of human disease including current and future management and treatment.
  4. Describe how the human body is altered during the course of a disease, and how treatments aim to restore normal processes.
  5. Explain how different populations are differentially impacted by the same disease.
  • Advocate
  • Leader
  • Collaborator
  • Professional
  • Communicator
  • Scholar
  • Content Expert

Assessment 1 – Readiness Assessment Tests (RAT) (3 x 5% = 15%)

Students will receive their assigned pre-readings online prior to the start of each module. Students must log in to the course website in OnQ, review the online material and complete their readiness assessments tests composed of multiple choice questions related to their understanding of the online content (Individual RAT). Each Individual RAT will be worth 5% with a total of 4 Individual RATs. Only the best 3 out of 4 Individual RATs will be used to determine final marks for this assessment.

Assessment 2 – Team-based Learning (TBL) Assignments (4 x 10% = 40%)

Working in groups, students will learn about the important fundamental concepts of each module, with emphasis on representative diseases. Both individually and as part of small and large groups, students will compare and contrast two specific diseases representative of each module pathology area. Students will then be given an opportunity to apply their knowledge, insights and ideas on these concepts to submit individual answers (TBL Individual) to questions about the case, and then develop a collaborative small group (TBL Group) response on their collective proposed best answers in relation to the disease characteristics provided. Only one TBL Group submission per small group is required. The TAs will evaluate TBL Individual and TBL Group submissions according to grading rubrics and participation in discussions throughout the TBL sessions. TBL Individual assignments are worth 6% each and TBL Group assignments are worth 4% each = 10% per TBL x 4 modules = 40% of final grade.

Assessment 3 – TBL Presentations (4 x 5% = 20%)

In this assessment, each TBL small group will submit a narrated collaborative small group Powerpoint presentation or poster presentation to answer assigned questions based on a hypothetical disease case for each module. Each TBL Presentation will be worth 5% x 4 modules = 20% of final grade.

Assessment 4 – Peer Evaluations (4 x 1.25% = 5%)

Students will also complete a peer-assessment questionnaire at the end of each TBL module, for a total of 4 peer assessments. They will be asked to rank the members of their small group based on the timeliness and professionalism of their participation in the discussion sessions, and during the preparation of each TBL Group assignment and presentation. Each peer evaluation will be worth 1.25% x 4 assessments = 5% of final grade.

Assessment 5 – Proctored Final Exam (20%)

The proctored final exam will include well-designed, case-based multiple choice and short answer questions that will test the students’ overall understanding and application of the course material, rather than rote memorization

Students can expect to spend on average 10 hours a week in the modules, weekly homework questions, assignments, and studying.

PATH 120 course material includes assignment descriptions, select journal articles and modules that will be posted to or linked within the course website.