Feel free to change the eight countries to suit your needs. We included these particular eight to be representative of the geographical regions of Africa. We also included some countries that have a critical problem with malaria and others that have virtually no problem (currently), but you may want to make sure other variables are considered, such as type of government, economic status, etc.
Now comes the important part – thinking about the criteria for selection and deciding what information to gather on each of the candidate countries.
Since the first of the special team’s responsibilities should be completed before the second begins, it might be good to move right into considering selection criteria during the Engagement phase. Using guided inquiry, lead your students to identify relevant criteria. Questions you might ask include:
- What characteristics would we look for in a country in which to conduct a clinical trial ? Why is that characteristic important?
- Should the four countries we select have the same characteristics, or should they be different? Why?
- Are some of these criteria more important than others?
This is a good opportunity to encourage your students to begin to think like professionals. In order to encourage such disciplinary thinking you could ask:
- What do you think the public health official on your team would consider important? How about the geographer? the economist? the communications expert?
If you know professionals in these areas who could serve as resources to your students, this would be an excellent time to call upon them. Ask if they would participate in the discussion and suggest relevant criteria to consider for the countries under consideration. Students could contact them via phone or email, or you could have them come to your class.
We have included a few video clips from professionals we have interviewed about selection criteria. Click below to hear what they suggest.
Judith Howard, Educator and T2 Project Director
Keep the list of possible selection criteria for later refinement but go ahead and have students decide what information to gather.
Data Collection and Organization
Once your students have established categories to investigate, it is a perfect time for them to start a database. You could have them use the database shell included in the Professional Information Center, modifying it to include their information categories, or if some of your students are interested, you could have a small group create one for the team to use.
Task #1: Database Creation
Throughout the next few days as your students gather data, they should enter it directly into the database.