Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have taken education by storm. The rise of MOOC popularity has led to several companies attempting to capatilize on the trend. Coursera, along with its competitor EdX, are two of the largest MOOC companies. Although interest in MOOCs has grown, one of banes of MOOC existence is their dismal completion rate. Completion rates are typically low, hovering around 4% or less. The reason for the drop-out rate is multifactorial, but likely includes disatisfaction with the passivity of current MOOC content. Most of today's MOOCs are delivered in a lecture format.
In the Duke University Human Simulation and Patient Safety Center, our team develops screen-based simulation and games-based learning for healthcare. As I wrote in my article, Virtual Environments in Healthcare: Immersion, Disruption, and Flow, I strongly believe screen-based / games-based learning will have a prominent role in the future of healthcare education, training and assessment. Why? Screen-based simulation retains a great deal of the interactivity of mannequin-based simulation with the added advantages of being scaleable, distributable, and analyzable. The combination of advantages will catalyze a new age of interactivity and analytics in MOOCs.
Next week, Duke’s Leonard E. White, Ph.D. will begin his wildly popular Coursera course: Medical Neuroscience. For the first time ever, screen-based simulation will be incorporated into a MOOC. A version of our new web-based simulation software, ILE@D Stroke (Immersive Learning Environments @ Duke), will be embedded in Dr. White’s Medical Neuoroscience Course.
Our plan is to usher in a new chapter in the evolution of MOOCs—adding interactivity that is so sorely lacking in today’s offerings. Ultimately, through interactive content such as ILE@D Stroke, we hope to improve the overall retention and experience of MOOC participants.