MOOC to help bridge the dementia divide

Derby to offer MOOC on the Canvas Network, which will help inform people about the effects of dementia

By Melissa Loble, VP of Partners and Programs, Canvas 

Competition in the UK higher education market is fierce. In order to attract the best and brightest recruits, universities and colleges recognise the need to offer cutting-edge technologies that power the newest and best learning methods. 

One such tool which is growing in popularity is the ‘MOOC’ (massive online open course). MOOCs are often available to anyone – from academia to the general public – and can open up the learning experience to a large audience. The most compelling MOOCS can provide information on, and spur interest in, and a pertinent or timely topic; raising the profile of an important cause or issue.

This month; we’re teaming up with the University of Derby to offer a thought provoking MOOC on the Canvas Network, which will help inform people about the effects of dementia. The course, called ‘Bridging the Dementia Divide: Supporting people living with dementia’ is designed to raise awareness of the condition to a wide audience, including academics, students and health professionals. 

The MOOC will help participants learn about the global challenge of dementia. They will learn about communication and compassion on the course, including how they can help people living with dementia to maintain independence, control, and a good quality of life.

Munib Hadi, head of the academic innovation hub at the University of Derby commented that the course sought to address a timely and important issue. ‘It’s estimated by The World Health Organisation that there are currently 35 million people currently living with dementia – and that this number will double by 2030 and triple by 2050. Our MOOC will go some way to educating people on the condition, and it’s vital that the course itself is user friendly and compelling in order to reach and educate as many people as possible. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Canvas as our MOOCs platform provider – after an extensive platform comparison due to its intuitive design and suitability for the MOOCs audience.’

It’s clear that free, quality educational materials can really make a difference to the world, especially when important topics such as dementia are addressed. Open education technology such as a MOOC tends to be on the cutting edge of technology, which means that the content is more relevant and innovative than the content found in an out-dated textbook. For higher education institutions, this will help ensure students are more engaged, which will ultimately lead to better outcomes for both pupils and schools.

Find out more about ‘Bridging the Dementia Divide: Supporting people living with dementia’ at