The benefits of SPOCs

An increasing amount of evidence advocates the tremendous potential of Small Private Online Courses (SPOCs) within the medical education sphere. Below are the 5 benefits that SPOCs can offer:

1. Intensive instructor guidance

According to the authors of “SPOCs in the Spotlight”, the value of interpersonal exchange in medical education is profound. There is the availability of more intensive instructor guidance. The instructor can monitor the collaboration and interaction between participants more closely and intensively and provide participants with customized feedback. Monitoring students online is usually much easier than face-to-face, as the online dashboard that the instructor uses can record and track all interaction and activities of the participants.


2. Improvements across interactions, involvement and coherence

The benefits of connecting with others are not limited to the participant-instructor relationship. After observing the extent to which social interactions occurred in the discussion forums of four courses of the postgraduate Master’s Program Epidemiology, researchers determined improvements across interactions, involvement and coherence. SPOCs appear to provide a sustainable answer to the increasing demand for online higher education with an environment suitable for course participants, in agreement with the need for social interaction in higher education.


3. Low drop-out rates

One statistic, in particular, says it all: 98.8% of participants finish their coursework on time. This is largely attributable to the unique sense of engagement and connection participants experience. According to the authors: “The combination of intensive online coaching and the interaction and collaboration within a limited group size are important contributors to the low drop-out rates for SPOCs, as compared to MOOCs.”


4. Academic certificates and diplomas

Upon completion of a SPOC, participants not only have the requisite knowledge and skills, but they also have the credentials to back them up in the form of academic certificates and diplomas from a leading educational institution.


5. Opportunity to reduce the disparity of health standards between countries

In facilitating discussion and engagement, Elevate serves as an interactive online platform that enables global health professionals to share knowledge, explore ideas, and analyze new science. In this capacity, SPOCs are more than just a learning approach. They also offer an opportunity to reduce the disparity of health standards between countries towards overall enhanced global health care delivery.

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