MOOCs and Medical Education

MOOC-based learning is one of my current areas of interest! So far, I’ve taken my MOOC courses through the Coursera platform: “Gamification of Learning” from Penn State’s Wharton Business School and “Clinical Problem Solving” from Catharine Lucey, MD who is Vice-Dean for Education at UC San Francisco’s School of Medicine. Both were great, intensive treatments of the topic area, and highly useful in my work (ie, I learned a TON). My newest course, just starting next week, is called “Creativity, Innovation and Change”, another Coursera offering through Penn State University.

Here at DMU, we started a conversation about MOOCs at the COM retreat in June. In the Osteopathic world, didactics during the clinical phase of the curriculum are not consistently offered in all disciplines, particularly in Year 4, when students are more free to choose diverse elective rotations. A MOOC that could bring together students from different backgrounds and physical locations with faculty from across the country would be fantastic! Of course, the devil is always in the details, but offering an elective built on this model may be a great way to give students credit for a novel educational opportunity. And, DMU might be a leader in this modality, if we get a jump on the competition. Considering how engaged our students already have become in the electives curriculum, content delivery via MOOC may be a natural extension of course opportunities for our students.