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Advances in medical education and practice: role of massive open online courses

Authors Goldberg LR, Crocombe LA

Received 4 April 2017

Accepted for publication 29 June 2017

Published 21 August 2017 Volume 2017:8 Pages 603—609


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Md Anwarul Azim Majumder

Lynette R Goldberg,1 Leonard A Crocombe2

1Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre, Faculty of Health, 2Centre for Rural Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS, Australia

Abstract: Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are increasingly available in the area of health and medicine. These MOOCs are offered through various commercial and noncommercial online platforms. When offered through reputable institutions, they can provide valuable access to reliable information without the constraints of time, geographical location, or level of education. Most current courses appear introductory in nature. In its drive for quality health care, the National Academy of Medicine has prioritized a focus on known chronic care conditions. Many of these conditions are shared internationally. Among its initiatives, the academy encourages consumer and professional groups, patients, clinicians, health care organizations, and universities to work together to identify evidence-based care processes consistent with best practices, organize major prevention programs to target key associated health risk behaviors, and develop systems to measure and evaluate improvements in the provision of patient- and family-centered health care. Carefully designed and collaboratively developed MOOCs would appear a valuable resource to contribute to these initiatives. Such MOOCs can, 1) increase the health literacy of the public with regard to the prevention and treatment of known chronic care conditions, 2) provide ready access to continuing professional, and interprofessional, education, and 3) explore innovative teaching models for student learning focused on patient- and family-centered care. MOOCs would also appear helpful to facilitate effective communication among international communities of patients and clinicians, including student clinicians, with shared interests. Further, the accumulation of MOOC data through large-scale measurement and analysis, obtained nationally and internationally, has the potential to assist in greater understanding of the risk for diseases and their prevention, with this translating into medical education, and authentic, patient- and family-centered methods for student learning. This paper explores these issues.

Keywords: interprofessional education, medical education, medical practice, massive open online course, MOOC, patient (or person-) and family-centered care, quality health care

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