Developing MOOCs in Health Education: adding heft to the hype?

May 17, 2016 8:00 AM – 9:30 AM

Luke Woodham, MSc, Fiona Howat, BSc, Supriya Krishnan, BSc, Sheetal Kavia, BSc
St George's, University of London

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) represent an unprecedented opportunity for educators to reach large numbers of global learners. However, limited models for assessment and the absence of face-to-face interaction has led many to question their value in healthcare disciplines.

St George’s, University of London have collaborated on the development of several well-received MOOC courses using FutureLearn, a UK-based platform which focuses on storytelling and discussion as the prime means for learning. To date, more than 20,000 learners have participated in these courses, with course data providing insight into the ways in which they have interacted with the educational materials.

Using a mixture of video, animation and text articles, combined with focused discussions and talking points throughout, “The Genomics Era: the Future of Genetics in Medicine” MOOC has proved particularly popular with learners. Key to this has been gaining accreditation for CPD (Continuing Professional Development) from 2 Royal Colleges in the UK, a unique achievement amongst courses on the platform.

By combining high-quality educational resources and well-targeted, engaging activities, along with recognition and accreditation from respected institutions, MOOCs can prove extremely valuable in medicine and healthcare, for learners both pre and post registration.