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MOOC Clinical Epidemiology

SDG Initiative 

Via MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) we strive to improve health care knowledge wordwide. In April 2016, we launched the online course Clinical Epidemiology on the Coursera platform, in collaboration with Utrecht University. Recently, Utrecht University teamed up with 18 other universities, to form the Coursera SDG Initiative. The aim of this initiative is to create courses that contribute to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. As the goals are ambitious, strong actions are needed to achieve them. Each course aims to give students hands-on experience with an NGO that has a challenge the student can support. Using a real-world case study, students learn to contribute to the SDG, and simultaneously the NGO benefits from a large pool of knowledge and innovative ideas.

The Clinical Epidemiology MOOC impacts SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being. In collaboration with the NGO Amref Health Africa, we asked our students to brainstorm about Amref's M-Jali service: a mobile platform for community health workers which enables them to collect and relay data on key health indicators. In the near future, Amref will implement the tool in a project in Makueni Country in Kenya. The project specifically aims to decrease the incidence of diarrhea among children under five. We hope that the input provided by our students will help Amref to set up the best possible platform in order to achieve its goals.

In April 2018 we already ran our 11th session. We had 7410 active learners, of which 442 people finished the course completely. Out of 117 ratings, our students valued our course with a 4.7 (on a schale of 1-5). We are very happy with this outcome and even more with the following positive responses:

“This is a course that has made a great impact in my understanding of clinical epidemiology. The tutors are exceptional and possess high skills in imparting knowledge to learners.”
(anonymous student, 2018) 

"Both of the professors [Prof. D.E. Grobbee and Prof. A.W. Hoes, red] sure done a really good job in explaining clinical epidemiology concept in a very simple term. Now that I have the good foundation, I will continue explore it more deeply and continue my clinical research with more confidence. I'm planning of applying for the Msc epidemiology course for postgraduates next year."
(anonymous student, Thailand, 2018)

We hope to see our MOOC-students soon back in our Online Learning Platform, for example increasing their Clinical Epidemiology knowledge even further and more in-depth in our SPOC or even in the MSc Epidemiology Postgraduate Master program