The course was delivered over 5 weeks. The first week was a dedicated induction week, during which time participants became familiarised with the software and other online tools to be used. Each week included the initial release of course content in the form of a digital ‘workbook’. Group ‘conversation’ was then placed at the heart of the learning experience. Participants had access to a weekly blog where they could discuss topic related issues with each other and specialist nurses from the charity. They also had access to an ‘Article of the Week’ discussion. Group conversation, and interaction with clinical and academic experts, was further encouraged each week during a live ‘Webinar Wednesday’ and a ‘Tweetchat Thursday’. ‘One Word Friday’ using ‘Answer Garden’ provided a visual summary of the most poignant aspects for participants.
Each week, participants could also claim a ‘digital badge’ following successful completion of a specific online activity. At the end of the course, eligible participants could also submit a 2500 word report in ‘Recognition of Prior Learning’ and claim 15 m-level credits, to be imported into one of our Radiotherapy & Oncology awards.
The focus of the MOOC was important in terms of initial appeal and ongoing engagement. We felt strongly that it should have clear value and purpose. The content was designed around the quality checklist produced by charity covering ‘diagnosis’, ‘radical treatment’, ‘advanced cancer and end of life care’ and ‘survivorship’. All resources created were open source under the Creative Commons Licence 4.0. Two internationally recognised radiotherapy/radiation science journals also provided free online readers. The course was open to both healthcare professionals and those affected by prostate cancer, encouraging open discussion between these individuals. The course content was also developed using service users, creating powerful learning resources that were well received.
A formal evaluation (not yet published) using a multi-method approach was conducted (Parkin H, 2015). This included the deployment of pre and post course surveys, an online focus group, learner analytics and the recording of staff time. 903 participants aged 17-69 yrs and from 35 countries enrolled on the MOOC. 83.3% were healthcare professionals. By the end of the course 77.1% who had enrolled had engaged with the delivery platform as an active user. Over half of the respondents to the post-course survey, who had engaged in the course (n=155), stated an ‘above average’ or ‘excellent’ overall satisfaction score. Further detail from the evaluation will be provided in the presentation.
Parkin H (2015), Enhancing Prostate Cancer Care MOOC: Evaluation Report, Quality Enhancement and Student Success (QESS), Sheffield Hallam University.