The University of Colorado School of Medicine’s first-ever MOOC (massive open online course) will be offering a second session online starting June 8.
Based on the live Mini Med School program – which ran for 25 years on the Denver and Aurora campuses and was taken by close to 20,000 Coloradans – the course has been reimagined for the 21st century lifestyle.
Mini Med School has been free to attendees since the beginning and has always attempted to find the best level of accuracy, currency, clarity and depth for a general audience. This course has no prerequisites, and no exams, either! Students who complete it receive a “Certificate of Completion.”
The online course is the first medical education program designed for the public available as a MOOC. When it launched last fall, 4,057 people registered. They live in 150 countries, and in all 50 states.
“Completion rates are three times higher than in most MOOCs,” says professor JJ Cohen, M.D., the founder and teacher in the new course. Participants ranged in age from high school students to retirees, and novices at science to health professionals.
Responses have been overwhelmingly enthusiastic, says Helen Macfarlane, M.A., the course’s producer and designer. One student, an emergency medical technician from the Denver area, wrote, “Thank you guys so much for putting this on! I have learned so much, and my mind was blown each week with how complex our bodies actually are. You guys rock!”
Mini Medical School demystifies modern medical science for the lay audience. Participants learn about a field in which they may be thinking of a career. Others want to know behaviors that can improve their health and wellness. Many just love to hear about the amazing advances being made in medical science and treatment.
The course will run for seven weeks. It covers Anatomy and Physiology, Cellular and Molecular Biology, the Immune System, Infectious Disease, Neuroscience, and Cancer Biology. This content is based on the first two years of medical school, where students learn the basic science that underlies clinical medicine.
Each week’s study consists of about eight units which range in length from four to seven minutes. Participants work through the engaging, and often amusing, videos at their own pace.
Additional resources for those interested include illustrated transcripts, a lively interactive discussion forum, optional self-test quizzes, and that Certificate of Completion.
The course will launch on June 8. Free enrollment is open now; click here.