Massive Open Online Courses for educating physiotherapists: a descriptive study

Lisa A. Harvey, Joanne V. Glinsky, Stephen Muldoon, Harvinder S. Chhabra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: This was a descriptive study with the primary objective of describing two Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) about the physiotherapy management of spinal cord injuries. We sought to determine the number of participants who registered and then completed the MOOCs, and changes in participants’ knowledge. The secondary objective was to determine whether the MOOCs increased usage of www.elearnSCI.org. The setting for this study was global and online.

Case presentation: Two 5-week MOOCs were run in 2014 and 2016 about physiotherapy management of spinal cord injuries. The MOOCs were based on the physiotherapy module of www.elearnSCI.org. The data were collected on the number of participants who completed the MOOCs. Participants’ knowledge was assessed prior to the commencement of the MOOC and upon completion of the MOOC. In addition, Google analytics were used to determine whether the MOOCs increased usage of www.elearnSCI.org over the two 5-week periods in which the MOOCs were run.

Discussion: In total, 3500 and 10 000 physiotherapists and physiotherapy students registered for the MOOC in 2014 and 2016, respectively. Participants’ knowledge increased by a median (interquartile) of 15% (5 to 25% for 2014; 0 to 25% for 2016). Lessons from www.elearnSCI.org that formed part of the MOOC were accessed a median (interquartile range) of 8626 (6150 to 10 773) and 17 631 (15 262 to 22 929) times per day during the 2014 and 2016 MOOCs, respectively. MOOCs provide a relatively inexpensive way of providing education about the physiotherapy management of spinal cord injuries, but it is yet to be determined whether they improve clinical skills.
Original languageEnglish
Article number17005
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalSpinal Cord Series and Cases
Volume3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

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