Designing a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC): Understanding Suicide and Suicide Prevention Strategies in a Global Context

Langan-Martin, J. , Sharp, L. , Karadzhov, D. , McClelland, H. , Cleare, S. and O'Connor, R. (2019) Designing a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC): Understanding Suicide and Suicide Prevention Strategies in a Global Context. 30th World Congress of the International Association for Suicide Prevention: Breaking Down Walls and Building Bridges (IASP 2019), Derry, Ireland, 17-21 Sep 2019.

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Objectives: To design a 3 week Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) to allow students to gain a broader understanding of suicide as a global issue. We aimed to introduce students to global suicide rates and explore the biological, psycho-social and cultural factors that can influence suicidal behaviour. Finally suicide prevention strategies were explored. Methods and Materials: A multidisciplinary team of psychiatrists, psychologists, suicide researchers, service users and digital learning technologists developed the educational content. To ensure a safe learning environment, the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines on safe reporting of suicides was adhered to and was grounded in the self-harm and suicide prevention competence framework. Self–care activities were embedded throughout each week of the MOOC and wellbeing resources were signposted at the end of each step. Once the draft MOOC was completed, extensive consultation occurred. External feedback was obtained from a range of key stakeholders and a number of organisations were approached for endorsement or accreditation. Five graduate teaching assistants were employed to aid course moderation. Results: The MOOC was launched on the 4th of March 2019 with five organisational endorsements and one accreditation. Twenty one days after the course opened 2,143 learners were enrolled and 2,825 comments made. The MOOC appeared to have a global reach with 51% of learners residing in the UK, 5% in Australia, 4% in the United States, 3% in Mexico, 2% in Canada, India and China and 1% in Russia and Saudi Arabia. Moderation of the learners’ comments focused on compliance with the WHO guidance. 1.3% (n=38) of comments were flagged and hidden due to unsafe content, the majority due to discussion of suicide methods. Early completion data from 142 learners reported that 93.7% (n=133) felt the course met or exceeded expectations and 95.1% (n=135) reported new learning. Conclusions: There appears to be a global demand for education on suicide prevention. Early outcome data suggested that new knowledge can be delivered through a MOOC. Learner safety needs to be carefully considered when developing and delivering online learning. Thorough and careful moderation is essential to ensure that learners engage safely with the content.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sharp, Dr Laura and Cleare, Dr Seonaid and O'Connor, Professor Rory and Mcclelland, Dr Heather and Langan-Martin, Dr Julie and Karadzhov, Dr Dimitar
Authors: Langan-Martin, J., Sharp, L., Karadzhov, D., McClelland, H., Cleare, S., and O'Connor, R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the author

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