LSBU develops new online courses for healthcare professionalsThe School of Health and Social Care at London South Bank University has developed new free online courses that use drama and suspense to engage learners
Typical Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC's) have been heavily criticised for high drop-out rates, sometimes exceeding 90% of students not finishing the course. To address this, LSBU has worked with professional filmmakers to create two MOOC's that break the mould by borrowing heavily from techniques used in popular television shows.
The new MOOC's each consist of eight-part dramas that play out over eight weeks, ending on a cliff-hanger to inspire the participant to "tune in next week" and find out what happens and to continue their learning to the end of the course.
One drama follows the journey of an elderly person suffering with mental health problems as she becomes progressively ill, while the second tells the story of a man whose physical health deteriorates to the point where his life is in danger. The stories then map their recovery and the interventions that should have taken place by healthcare workers.
Both MOOCs have been commissioned by Health Education North Central and East London, which has responsibility for ensuring high quality education and training provision to health professionals.
Professor Warren Turner, Dean of LSBU's School of Health and Social Care, said: "These are the first Massive Open Online Courses that LSBU has developed, and we spent a lot of time analysing how to make them as engaging as possible, with characters and scenarios that play out their lives on the screen like a soap opera."
"Those working in healthcare there will be supported learning materials, but the intention is for these online dramas to be accessible to anyone who can benefit, including those members of the public who care for people with mental or physical health problems.
In order to meet the needs of this potentially wide range of participants, the learning materials are organised into "universal" and "advanced" levels. Both MOOC's – hosted on the Canvas Network - start on 22 September 2014 and end on 31 October 2014.