UTAS dementia MOOC continues to break records

The University of Tasmania's Understanding Dementia massive open online course (MOOC) went live for the second time yesterday, with more than 10,000 people registered to take part, including 3000 from overseas.

The MOOC has been developed by the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre at UTAS and is open to anyone with an interest in dementia care as well as healthcare professionals, community and residential support staff and people in the early stages of the disease themselves.

The curriculum of the nine-week course draws upon the expertise of neuroscientists, clinicians and dementia care professionals at the Wicking Centre. Content includes the anatomy of the brain and nervous system, the pathology of dementia, the different diseases that cause dementia and their symptoms and diagnosis, the effect of dementia on the person and their behaviours, and their palliation and management.

UTAS says over 9200 people worldwide enrolled in the free online course in 2013, and the completion rate was the second-highest for a MOOC on record.

The MOOC is delivered on the Desire2Learn platform and all participants need is a computer and internet connection.

The Wicking Centre's co-director, James Vickers, said research had found a tremendous unmet need for education on dementing illnesses and how they affect the individual at different stages of disease.

"To this end, we launched the world's first [MOOC] devoted to dementia last year, the first global initiative in dementia education," Professor Vickers said.

Participants who complete the MOOC also have the opportunity to progress into the university's online Bachelor of Dementia Care course.

Registrations for the MOOC are still open.

Posted in Aged Care

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