Medical education in the digital age: the role of MOOCs in faculty development

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

13 Downloads (Pure)


Background: In the UK, all postgraduate medical trainees are required to have named, accredited clinical supervisors in every placement from July 2016. Given the time pressures, difficulties of geographical access, and the national drive for professional standards for clinical educators, there is a need to identify appropriate solutions for faculty development. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have made online learning on a plethora of topics accessible to learners worldwide with several MOOCs suitable for postgraduate medical training offered by USA-based platforms eg. Coursera and EdX; faculty development via MOOCs is negligible. Our 2-week FutureLearn MOOC (March 2015) offers clinical supervision training for faculty development. This study will assess the potential role of MOOCs for faculty development.

Summary of work: Data will be sourced from course analytics, discussion boards, learner feedback, and educators. The MOOC will be evaluated using a published framework for e-learning in health.

Summary of results: Course analytics provide a rich source of quantitative and qualitative data (geographic reach, participant roles, motivation to undertake MOOC, etc). Samples of discussion board content will be used to illustrate specific points.

Conclusions: This work will enable us to assess the role of MOOCs as a vehicle for faculty development. Clinical educators need to maintain and refresh their skills, to maximise patient safety. Could MOOCs provide a potential solution?

Take-home message: There are significant time and other pressures on busy doctors resulting in a need to identify potential solutions for faculty development. MOOCs have potential to be an efficient solution by enabling learning, sharing and co-constructing knowledge without geographical boundaries.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015
EventAMEE (International Association for Medical Education) Annual Conference - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 5 Sep 20159 Sep 2015


ConferenceAMEE (International Association for Medical Education) Annual Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

Cite this