MOOCS and Health Sciences Education: Hype or Disruption?

Des Moines, IA US
February 6, 2014

Series Description

We complain that students don’t come to class anymore. Our students complain that attending lectures is not a productive use of their time. Our accreditation bodies stress the importance of active learning and ensuring that our students become life-long learners. Educational experts have told us that a lecture by a “sage on the stage” is neither active learning nor good pedagogy. At our conferences and through the media we hear about colleagues that use flipped classrooms to promote active learning and increase student performance and attendance.  

We have heard the hype, but what is the reality? We are now beginning to explore, at different levels of application, subtle and major differences in approaches to active and engaged learning.

This webcast series will provide a framework for understanding and distinguishing between the various definitions and perspectives on active and engaged learning and will detail specific practical applications in the modern classroom. 

Webinar Description

In educational circles 2013 was labelled the year of the MOOC - the massive open online course. It was the year that MOOCs were set to go main stream and Udacity, Coursera and edX were constantly in the news attracting ever higher numbers of students on to their courses. MOOCS were going to disrupt education, there was talk of only 10 universities existing in 50 year' time and academics, including in the health sciences, became concerned about the potential for their departments to close and in turn lose their jobs. By the end of the year however, the positivity around MOOCs was beginning to wane. Column inches turned to news of low completion rates, poor pedagogy and MOOCs nearing the peak of the hype cycle.

This presentation will explore the evolution of MOOCs and the role they might play in the future of health science education. Do they have the potential to disrupt or are we just witnessing hype at play? We will look at the different approaches to MOOCs and means of accrediting learning on them such as certificates of completion for which there is a fee and open badges. We will also consider whether we might see MOOCs accredited as part of health science/professions degrees or for CME? Finally the session will discuss whether MOOC type approaches might offer new opportunities to innovate in teaching and learning that also support inter-professional learning and help our students to develop skills for lifelong learning.

Target Audience

DMU faculty and staff.


Natalie Lafferty

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 CE Contact Hour(s)
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
02/06/2014 - 11:00am CST
Event ends: 
02/06/2014 - 12:00pm CST
Des Moines University
3200 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50312
United States

Available Credit

  • 1.00 CE Contact Hour(s)


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