A clinical trial to assess the effect of red smarties was used as an active learning approach to epidemiology and critical appraisal; concepts students and health professional often find ‘dull’ and ‘boring’.
A team of authors from APACPH member institution, Queensland University of Technology – QUT in Brisbane Australia conducted a mock randomised control trial (RCT) with learners in three countries. The RCT involved learners blindly eating red Smarties candy (intervention) compared to yellow smarties (control) to determine whether the red Smarties increased happiness. Audience response technology ‘clickers’ were paired with participants’ trial ‘treatment’ packages. The clickers were used to produce data for in-class analysis and to identify the learners’ experience. The publication offers insights into this innovative authentic teaching approach and the effect of red Smarties.
Baker, P. R., Francis, D. P., & Cathcart, A. (2017). A Mock Randomized Controlled Trial With Audience Response Technology for Teaching and Learning Epidemiology. Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health, 29(3), 229-240