Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Coursera Review - Boost your learning and Join me!

I stumbled across Coursera during my internet travels looking for ways to study. As soon as I say they had a course on Patient Safety, I knew I should give it a shot not only for myself but so I could write about it on my blog! (Does this mean I'm slowly becoming a better blogger because I think about it? I hope so.) Not only is this a great way to boost a resume but it's a great way to boost yourself!

I am currently enrolled in The Science of Safety in Healthcare through Johns Hopkins University. It is put together by two professors who are very involved in the Medical School as well as the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality.  I never thought I'd be able to take a course through Johns Hopkins during my time in academia!  So far the content provided has been amazing - full of quality lectures and information about how to create positive change to better patient safety.

Now you're wondering how to get on Coursera? Here are the nitty-gritty facts....

What is Coursera?

Coursera is a FREE online learning website which currently has 300+ courses in over 20 categories from 62 universities in 16 countries.

What type of classes are there?

Dabble in Law? Constitutional Law through Yale University

You want to improve your public speaking? Have a look at this class from The University of Washington where you participate in interactive Google Hangouts

Looking for more information on Vaccine Trials? This course from Johns Hopkins would be perfect for that.

How long is each course? What is the work load?

It depends on the course selected but they seem to range from 5 weeks to 12 weeks and they also start at random times throughout the year. The current class I am in is 5 weeks in length and I usually put in about 1-2 hours a week in watching video lectures and taking notes. I've had a look at other classes and they ranges from 1-2 hours of work to 12-15 hours. I would recommend having a look at the course requirements before signing up (even if it is free) to make sure you can commit to that much work.

What kind of assignments are there? 

Again, it depends on the course. For my current course I had 1 quiz and 2 peer assessments. The two peer assessments involved me creating plans on based on a case study as well as analyzing faults in the healthcare system.

What's in it for me?

Along with having the opportunity to take a course on something you've always wanted to try, something you want to learn more about or to get that resume boost, you will get a certificate of completion at the end of the course if you receive a high enough grade on the assignments.

Another option is the "Signature Track" courses - These courses typically do cost money (anywhere from $30-$100) but are longer in length and will give you a Verified certificate of completion from the University/College. It's very technical and it records your typing motions, your photo and an ID document to make sure it's you. If you're interested in a signature track course, there is an interesting one on Nutrition for Health Promotion and Disease for $39!
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I am enrolled for my next course - Antimicrobial Stewardship: Optimization of Antibiotic Practices through Stanford University and would like to invite you to join me! Whether you're someone heading back to school and want to refresh for fall, someone in school wanting to expand your learning, someone working the field or someone just interested in learning more - I encourage you to sign up! I picked a low commitment course so you can ease your way in and see if it's something you like.

  • Course starts September, 2013

  • 5 weeks in length

  • Course commitment - 1 to 2 hours/ week

I'll be blogging about the course every week and want you to be involved in the conversation as well. Comment below or email me so we can all be study buddies :) If this that catches on, maybe we can do this more frequently!



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