Why you should sign up for MOOC School

An Improvement Hub and Digital Officer supporting the NHS England Sustainable Improvement teams reflects on a recent Accessible Learning Team course she trialled:

When I saw the opportunity to take part in the very first MOOC School, I jumped at the chance. A MOOC is a ‘Massive Online Open Course’, and part of my day job is to promote online courses, such as the suite of Improvement Fundamentals mini-courses, on behalf of NHS England’s Sustainable Improvement Team. To learn how these courses were created and built was a chance too good to miss.

The MOOC School was delivered on our learning platform, Curatr, and facilitated by Maggie Herbert and Cheryl Guest, from our accessible learning team. The modules guided us seamlessly through the different elements of building a course, from setting Smart objectives, to creating a session plan, through to how we would measure a course’s success. There were a great range of resources and templates to download, to guide us through the process, and to keep us on topic. We soon realised that it’s very easy to meander off track!

During each module, we all worked together on a fictitious cookery course. This was a great space to connect with each other, and bounce ideas around. It was also a safe place to test things out.

Between each module, we all worked on our individual courses that we were to build.

I decided to build an ‘Introduction to Twitter’ course. This was partly because social media plays a big part of my role, and I have written and presented face to face workshops on this in the past. So it’s a subject that I’m passionate about, and from experience, I understand that some people find Twitter a bit of a minefield – until they understand it better.

Using some of my existing materials and slides, I used the MOOC School templates to structure my course. These really made me think about what to include in the course, who was I pitching at, what level of detail did I need to go into, and how could I make the finished product useful, robust and appealing to learners.

Once the course was put together on paper, I then needed to build it on the learning platform. This bit I found really enjoyable – it was really satisfying to bring the whole thing to life. The platform is really user friendly, and there are lots of elements you can build into courses, such as quizzes, badges, downloads, videos and supporting resources. These all help to enhance the experience for the learner; by using a variety of methods, the course can be more interesting and of greater value.

Once we had built our courses, we gave peer to peer feedback on another delegate’s course. This aspect was really satisfying, as everyone was really supportive and positive. Working through a checklist, we all reviewed another person’s course. This wasn’t in the traditional way of what worked well and what didn’t – we looked at what worked well, and what could be even better. I found this really helpful and constructive.

Our courses were then reviewed by our facilitator, and again, this was done in a really supportive and positive way, with some really useful and valuable feedback. At the end of this process, we were asked to then look at our own courses again and make suggestions of what we thought went well, and what we might do differently when designing a future course. It was really beneficial to reflect back on the whole process, having built a course and looked at how others had tackled the project.

The MOOC School will be offered out again during this year. From my experience, I would highly recommend signing up for it, and I would definitely use the course templates when planning future learning materials.

In the meantime the Improvement Fundamentals course is currently running on the same learning platform, and is open to all. There are four online quality improvement mini-courses, and each is worth 2.5 CPD points. You can enrol on the improvement fundamentals web page.

Lynnette Lee

Lynnette supports the NHS England Sustainable Improvement teams, with their social media campaigns and digital communications.

Recently she has promoted the Improvement Fundamentals, and the Developing Effective Networks for Change and Improvement; both are online courses. In previous roles, she has supported the Long Term Conditions and Learning Disabilities programmes.