MOOCs: engaging and upskilling an international audience to reduce insulin prescribing errors

M Patel, S Choi, A Pulman, N Martin, M Urrutia, K Dickens, M Parmar and N Englyst

Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton

Can online learning reduce insulin prescribing errors? 16,600 insulin errors occurred in England alone(2003-2009). Yet, there is no appropriate, accessible training available internationally. A Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on insulin was developed by a multidisciplinary team: subject(Mayank Patel, Nicola Englyst), eLearning(Sunhea Choi, Andy Pulman, Nik Martin) and MOOC experts(Manuel Urrutia, Kate Dickens, Meera Parmar). 

The MOOC offered interactive learning, guiding learners through physiological insulin actions, effects of insulin deficit in diabetes, and how replacement insulins work, through scenarios illustrating people living with type 1 and 2 diabetes, twitter between liver and pancreas, media supporting text, embedded links to well-respected external resources and reflective questions encouraging learner contributions to facilitated discussion.

For the first run(July 2017), ~1600 learners from >70 countries registered for the MOOC. Health professionals found it extended their existing knowledge: “This is a short but very educative segment, technical and of a high standard but keeps you engrossed.”(N.Ofondu) The patient-learners also demonstrated improved knowledge: “I now will never take insulin for granted as before and will treat the injection of it with much more respect. It's a pity this was never explained to me before”(H.Groves). Increased knowledge in both groups will improve insulin administration and adherence.