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  Module 2
  Module 3
  Module 4
  Module 5

Investigation 2-6
The Journey


Students explore the four basic analytical epidemiological study designs. These include the fundamental experimental design used in a controlled trial and the three designs used to observe "natural experiments," namely, the cohort study, case-control study, and cross-sectional study.  A "train analogy" is used to depict "the journey between exposure and disease" and the different ways exposure and outcome data are collected during the journey.  The train analogy helps students uncover how the study designs differ according to when during the journey the epidemiologist determines study participants' exposure and outcome status.

Investigation Preparation Checklist

Check alignment with standards.

National or State file

Review Epidemiology Background for Module 2.

Word or PDF file

Review teacher's notes and slides:  [en espaņol:]

  • Not animated.  Recommended for quick viewing.
  • PDF: 463KB

  • Not animated.  Recommended for printing.
  • Word: 1,327KB

  • Animated viewing with Microsoft Internet Explorer.
  • HTML Web file: 1,310KB

  • Animated viewing with Netscape or other browser.
  • PowerPoint file: 680KB

    Copy Investigation 2-6: Epi Log Worksheet -
    Study Design Sheet
      (Time and Flow Diagram)  for each student.  [en espaņol:]

    Word or PDF file

    Copy set of Study Design Cards for each Epi Teams.

    PowerPoint or PDF file

    Estimated Time / Time Management

    Approximately one class period.

    Look For Students To:

    Accurately describe the sequence of steps for each of the four epidemiological study designs: controlled trial, cohort study, case-control study, and cross-sectional study.

    Appreciate the different characteristics and applications of the controlled trial and the different observational studies.