Online diabetes course benefits health care professionals in developing countries – University of Copenhagen

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Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research > News > 2017 > Online diabetes course

20 June 2017

Online diabetes course benefits health care professionals in developing countries

ONLINE LEARNING

Currently, millions of people have participated in Massive Open Online Courses; MOOCs. However educational and professional benefits for course participants of such initiatives have not previously been sufficiently analysed and addressed.

Now, a new study indicates participants from developing countries report more benefits from course participation than their counterparts in the developed world.”
“We wanted to investigate if participation in a six week open online course in the prevention and treatment of diabetes and obesity had impact on the knowledge, skills, and career of health care professionals from both developed and developed countries,” say Associate Professor Signe Sørensen Torekov and co-author of the study which has just been published in BMC Medical Education.

MOOC Diabetes – a Global Challenge
The MOOC Diabetes – a Global Challenge course on the Coursera platform offers cutting-edge diabetes and obesity research including biological, genetic and clinical aspects as well as prevention and epidemiology of diabetes and obesity. All lectures are provided by high-profile scientists from leading universities in diabetes research and were offered three times during spring 2014 and autumn 2015. The course spans six weeks and consists of reading materials, video lectures and multi choice questions.

Altogether 52.006 participants signed up and 29.469 participants were active in one of the three sessions of Diabetes - a Global Challenge. Using online based questionnaire (nine sections) software (Survey Monkey), email invitations were sent out using a Coursera based database to the 29.469 course participants. Responses were analyzed and stratified, according to the United Nations stratification method, by developing and developed countries.

Educational Benefits
“Our study indicates that a six week internet-based course in diabetes and obesity treatment strategies could serve as an important resource in postgraduate education for medical doctors as well other health care professionals. Yet course participants from developing countries report more benefits from course participation than their counterparts in the developed world.”

“For us to reach and educate health care professionals in developing countries, our research shows that courses like MOOC Diabetes – a Global Challenge can offer educational benefits,” concludes co-author and MD Nicolai J. Wewer Albrechtsen.

To visit the MOOC Diabetes - a Global Challenge course click here