This is an open document available at for describing the proposed Massive Open Online Course in Emerging Technologies in Medical Education for sometime in 2012 currently codenamed MedEdMOOC though voting is still open for the naming 

I want to re-open the naming debate. I’m not sure that the medics involved in this project understand the depth of feeling within the other health professions who feel excluded by this name and this process. I would like to ask if we could really think about a way to tag our adventures with a more inclusive tag overall- there is nothing to stop the use of the MedEdMOOC tag for the subject matter specific to Medical Education, in addition to a general tag, but what I see in the syllabus is not specific to medicine or medical education. It is broader than concerns that we have aired about the differences between education and practice of medicine. Because of the title, the message I am hearing from people in Physiotherapy, Pharmacy, Speech and Language Therapy, Nursing, Occupational Therapy and everybody in Social Care is that they feel that this course is not for them- and we haven’t considered the impact on patients, either. I would love patients to feel empowered to get information through this MOOC, too. I’m continuing to promote this project to these groups, but it would be a much easier sell if it was a more inclusive name. I also think it would be worthwhile to add a “12” to the tag so that we could re-visit the name in future years with the new year tag- perhaps this is unnecessary?

I think we would be missing so much in this process by excluding these groups[b]. This was intended to be an inter-professional health and social care MOOC, lets think of some tags[c] that we could use to better reflect that, please? (CJ)

The aim is to keep this document as a brief overview of the project. Document guidelines.

#MedEdMOOC needs you to:

Most recent meeting

Organisers’ meeting

Date Sunday 11th December 21:00 GMT (worldtime here) - poll was here

On G+ and Twitter using the hashtag #MedEdMOOC

Agenda (and minutes)

  • governance structure
  • decided organiser group with asynchronous loose consensus
  • organiser Google doc (request an invite)
  • work on it until second week of January have another meeting
  • topic list
  • to work on in the organiser doc
  • research agenda
  • not discussed
  • dates
  • April looks good
  • requirements (platforms, technologies, speakers etc.)
  • Multimedia archiving platform such as Blackboard Collaborate
  • Look at a Moodle-like platform or Wiki
  • physio groups, Cochrane group
  • 24 hour kick off session seems a good idea[1]
  • ‘consumers’ of science research the bigger target



Definition and Mission in 50-word explanations (elevator pitch)



Organising group

Advisory Board

Potential Participants


Potential roles (please define and self-select)

Proposed syllabus

When could it run?

Marketing and promotion of the course

Accreditation of the course


What’s a MOOC?



On Thursday October 27th 2011 after Dr Ryan Madanick (@RyanMadanickMD) had presented his Social Media in Medical Education talk live over ustream Dr AnneMarie Cunningham (@amcunningham) said, “yes ! want to stream a session now!”. Then a MededMOOC12 was discussed …

Meeting 7th November 2011 on Twitter (transcript)

Meeting 28th November 2011 on Twitter and Google+ Hangout (transcript)

Meeting 29th November 2011 on Twitter and Google+ Hangout (transcript)

Meeting 11th December 2011 on Twitter and Google+ Hangout (transcript)

Key themes from last November meetings:

  • The Siemens, Downes and Cormier style MOOC was organised by a small well-established team. This would not be possible with this MOOC which would probably be organised by a more diffuse, international team of multidisciplinary professionals in healthcare and education. This organising group would need to make some key decisions by consensus such as mission, dates, platforms, and syllabus.
  • The MOOC should be multidisciplinary[g] as this would provide greater involvement and relevance. It would mean a focus on common challenges in healthcare rather than specialty-specific topics.
  • Personal learning about technologies, educational principles, research, applications of MOOCs and networking were key motivators for contributors those involved.

Definition and Mission in 50-word explanations (elevator pitch)

Add one … be creative … this will become a brief mission / vision statement. OR combine the themes in the ones below into a common one.

#MedEdMOOC is a learning opportunity over 6 weeks planned for May 2012 for healthcare practitioners, educators and students to explore applications of technology within their practice. It is inter-disciplinary, and you can choose your level of engagement. 

#MedEdMOOC is an online event and course over 6 weeks planned to start in April 2012 for healthcare practitioners, educators and students to explore applications of emerging technologies within their practice. You decide what you[h]

 do, how you participate and whether you have been successful - just like real life.[i]

#MedEdMOOC is a Massive Open Online Course for all those involved in health to explore how emerging information and communication technologies affect the delivery and use of healthcare. Its mission is to better define our current understanding and encourage the rational and effective use of technologies to improve the quality of patient care.

#MedEdMOOC is a Massive Open Online Course for all those involved in health. Emerging information and communication technologies are transforming health and society. New technologies are driving both new possibilities and raising and altering expectations from public and our colleagues. As information moves faster and in new ways, the pace of change in health has been supercharged. This free online course aims to bring together hundreds of people from around the world from across all of health, to make sense of these trends and possibilities. The MOOC format will give you new ideas, tools and help you build ongoing personal learning networks.  It will help you learn how to learn in this emergent future and to adapt and thrive in a Health 2.0 future.  

#MedEdMOOC is what it will become through interaction and engagement[j] with healthcare practitioners across disciplines in the health sector between October 27 and December 27 2011. It is a massive open online course inspired by a dynamically changing communication environment of: social media, telehealth, and online learning, and new generation teachers, learners, and researchers.  We are creating a community learning experience that will engage with all levels of expertise and all people - patients, providers, educators, practitioners, policy-makers, and industry members. Participants will teach and learn the full range of current and new emerging technologies, using a range of electronic media, and real-life examples of how this has been used to change real world practice. Completing the #MedEdMooc in six weeks will equip participants with the confidence, competence, theoretical underpinnings and practical implications of technologies in healthcare in May 2012 to carry them through the next six weeks.


  1. To explore the varied adoption of emerging technologies in education in the health professions and to analyse this (briefly) with respect to current theories of learning
  2. To stimulate the creation of media (presentations, blogs, social bookmarks, videos) that explain emerging technologies in medical education to a broader audience and demonstrate its potential effects on clinical performance (the inter-professional collaboration, open access to materials, open licences, transparent research, reflective practice, collaboration with consumers, dissemination of quality health information,  and partnership with health consumers).
  3. To build a network of medical educators and practitioners interested in the use of emerging technologies and social media, and build the knowledge and skills of participants through the use of those technologies on the course.
  4. To define areas of research - what is known about the intersection of medical education and social media AND what needs to be known in order to move forward.
  5. To explore and increase the capacity of the health sector to utilize emergent knowledge to solve complex problems that impact on health system performance and health outcomes.
  6. To give skills to participants to capture the work they do in digital / networked spaces ready to contribute to their professional development (PDP, CPD, CME).
  7. To appraise examples of the use of evidence-based medicine[k] in clinical practice especially where emerging technology has helped the debate or dissemination of knowledge.

Get a broader view of possible objectives from the healthcare community from the networks we are all involved in.


Organising group

(please self-select or un-select yourself here if you feel you have the time and resources OR add yourself to the ‘advisory board’ below).

@amcunningham (AMC)

@dean_jenkins (Dean)

@BrianSMcGowan (BSM) 

@RyanMadanickMD (RDM)

@meducate (Lawrence)

@helen_otuk ([l]Helen)

@lewismal (Malcolm) 

@medpubdirector  (Matt) [m]

Advisory Board

With thanks to contributions from


@drgandalf52 (Gandhi)

@ohsuneuro (Jeff)

@claireOT (Claire)

@sarahstewart (Sarah)


@bronwynah (Bronwyn)

@salt_mine (Liz - SLT)

@virtualot (Anita) 

@brownleader (si)



@MedEdHelen (helen m)


@pfanderson (PFA) | http://friendfeed.cpm/pfanderson 

Potential Participants

If this sounds interesting and you might join in when it finally gets going then add your name, URL, etc.



@ronantkavanagh (happy to contribute in any way you want me to but unsure where my skill set fits in)

@futuredocs - still learning about this. would be good to have some trainees involved


How we coordinate and make collective decisions.[n][o][p] 

Following the meetings on the 28th November 2011 and 29th November 2011 there was the sense that an organising group was forming with wider support from an advisory board.

Potential roles (please define and self-select)

We’ll all pitch in everywhere of course but put yourself in the role if you want to be identified with some responsibility for getting the task done! If it isn’t done we’ll know who to blame - in the nicest way of course.



Syllabus. The course will run over 6 or more weeks and cover a certain number of topics. It would be good to define what these might be (and the methods used to define them), what guest experts we’d like to invite and plan the weekly activities. See also section below.

Until we agree what we are trying to do, it is hard to do an outline of syllabus meaningfully.

Are we agreed now- the proposed syllabus

pre-course what is it about?

1. Theory

2. Learning

3. Doing

4. CPD

5. Barriers

6. Free for all

I think we all should have input into this at an outline level and depending on what is agreed, team members should work with guest presenters to develop the detail of each weekly module. (Malcolm)


Marketing and promoting the course to potential participants. See also the Draft marketing plan

Developing marketing plan and strategies

Graphic design

Implement agreed marketing plan

Matt, Malcolm, Helen

All participants are marketing it by participating if they leave a trail.

Accreditation for University credits, CME, CPD, PDP etc. See also the Accreditation document

Dean,,[q] Jeff, Matt G,

Technical / admin - digital stewardship, documentation, planning meetings, (trying to) facilitate consensus ...


Orientation strategies to being in a mooc.

Frequently asked questions.

What participants can expect.

Welcoming and answering questions, making FAQs based on questions.

Gandhi (can help)



Webinar session facilitators, including backup people in case of gremlins.

It seems like everyone in the organising group should do at least a session in this role, and not just have a few people highlighted (Jeff) Agreed (Matt G), Agreed, would help share out the work. (Dean) Agree (Helen)[s]

Wiki and or blog editor

Social media account co-managers: eg Slideshare, Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, youtube. [t][u]

Technical support to team and presenters

Basic technical support and orientation of new learners, eg preparing short video to participants new to webinars, twitter, how to join the email list servers .[v][w]

Team meeting facilitation

Team meeting minutes[x]

Research agenda. MOOC archivist - qualitative and quantitative data collection to support research. Any publications would conform to COPE publication ethics.

Brian, Dean


Internal evaluation: In addition to the research evaluation above. How well did we run this Mooc? What could we do better. What problems need attention?

Stephen Downes has just updated a presentation of his on “The Role of Educator in a Networked World”  which has deep incites into the role we need to cover in mooc.

[Slides] [Audio]

Check out this presentation (2 hours long) with slides by Downes about Facilitating a MOOC (CJ)

Please note, as per recommendation by Downes I have set up a Google Calendar- it will be the responsibility of the organisers and the speakers to ensure that any events will be loaded on the Calendar, that will then become publicly available nearer the time of the MOOC. It then can be embedded in blogs, etc as we wish, and details of live events can be saved by participants into their own calendars to help them remember when sessions are running. (CJ)

I’m organising an IRL event to run in week 6 of the MOOC in Leeds, UK, which will be a 2 day event from 29th -30th June 2012. Day 1 is the Conference with keynote speeches looking at “MapsandApps”, Connecting for Health and workshops by at Patient Opinion, #nhssm, educators using SL and other online tech in healthcare. This will be followed by Day 2, a “hackday” where we try to develop solutions to barriers and issues that have come up through the MOOC and through the #nhssm chats. I’m aiming to Live-Stream as much of this content as possible, and archive it for further use by participants of the MOOC at a later stage. Any recommendations on doing this are most welcome. I’m hoping any of you able to will attend in real life, and those unable to will be able to get involved online.(CJ)

Proposed syllabus[ad][ae]

Please feel free to contribute …

I’ve started to classify some of these and putting them into the organisers’ document so that we can pick a definitive list. (Dean)

Engagement in a MOOC for CPD by healthcare professions. (@ClaireOT) [MOOC as CPD]

Engaging with those outside our own profession eg other professions and the public.Why?  How does technology facilitate this? What are the challenges?[af][ag] [Boundaries]

How do we cope with social media dissolving the boundaries between personal and professional identities? How does technology and social media specifically change our relationships with learners? [Boundaries] Social Model vs Medical Model- and how Social Media can bridge this gap[ah]

What are pressing health challenges in your work where you live? How will increased use of technology help/hinder meeting these challenges? [Where are we now?]

The scope for inter-professional learning opportunities. - Flexible approach. [Boundaries]

@RyanMadanickMD focused on aligning SoMe to the competencies ... this is a unique approach.  In the past I have tried to align SoMe to specific problems or educational shortcomings - engagement, retention, community. @BrianSMcGowan [Quality]

Malcolm: Theory and concepts Connectivism and mobile learning, Community of practice, Change role of teacher in new paradigm, characterstics of the successful learner in the digital age and how to cultivate them, case studies from around worlds including developing world. How to build a PLN? - [tech & theory]

Jeff:  Role of emerging technology in formal medical school curriculum - what is the current level of adoption at medical schools, and how can schools which are behind the curve make practical steps forward.  Would include how to manage current faculty resistance to using new technologies as curriculae evolve. [Where are we now?]

Does a MOOC need a Needs Assessment? [tech & theory]

Malcom. I could do a topic on: Getting Your Head Around The Complexity of Health problems using Web2.0 tools for ongoing collaborative learning. [tech & theories OR where are we now]

Dean: criticisms of ‘learning’ or healthcare quality improvement through remote networks / Connectivism / social media. There may be a fundamental misunderstanding of how we manage decisions in an uncertain clinical world - the concept of ‘bounded rationality’. What technologies may work for some may not work for others or in different domains or environments. We therefore need proof that what we do is effective and not assume that an intervention will be effective simply because it is supported by theory or worked in another situation. [side topic in tech & theories]

… other ideas ...

I’m not sure syllabus fits well with a mooc. We are curating a collection of learning stimuli and facilitating learning conversations/spaces. Hopefully these will have some overall sense of coherence will expose the learner to range of key trends, concepts, ideas, practice models, key questions, difficulties to ponder and to try and connect with their practice and their existing learning.

As I see it, the main game for health education is around continuing professional learning and emergent research and problem solving. There is a big role for MOOCS in pre-service education for building learners skills at this type of learning and building their PLNs to support their entry into practice and subsequent growth. The pre-service learning also might be valuable to the students but U see the main game is in continuing professional education.

Learning is interactive, so may be able to predict some learning needs but depends on the participant groups. Ask them what they want! let the participants lead the learning. I do face to face[ai] teaching in my job sometimes, can’t this be a bit different? Student experience is better when they know what to expect, so some background materials and a ‘road map’ of some kind would be helpful.

Competency/outcomes based education - why have we moved to this model? where does technology fit in? eg portfolios 

Invited expert. Ask Dr Phil Hammond to do a session on what medical education should deliver. (via AMC and @RyanMadanickMD) (@bronwynah) health communication

When could it run?

April or May 2012 seems to be the popular choice.[aj]

Marketing and promotion of the course

Draft marketing plan


Marketing is not just the promotion of the course, it also impacts on the design of the product were are developing in this mooc. Because a MOOC is social media event, marketing is not a side issue.\

BSM - we need this to be really simple to understand...lest it become an echochamber...i think we need to recruit those not already participating in new media learning channels, and for them this needs to be really really simple to understand...

Accreditation of the course

Accreditation document


Tools and artifacts we’ve found useful.

The link-o-matic for quick copy-and-paste of common text for curating Twitter chats

What’s a MOOC?

A MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course. The following are useful resources explaining more about what a MOOC is and the 'Connectivism' theory behind them. YouTube video by Dave Cormier explaining what a MOOC is. YouTube video by Dave Cormier explaining how to succeed as a 'student' in a MOOC. A list of MOOCs in the educational technology field.

George Siemens. Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. International Journal of Instructional Technology & Distance Learning 2005 Jan;2(1)[cited 2009 Dec 1 ] Available from: An article by George Siemens introducing the proposed learning theory called 'Connectivism'.

Claireot. Excuse me, I think I just did a MOOC. Claireot's blog. July 24 2011. A blog by @ClaireOT talking about the potential benefits of a MOOC in occupational therapy.

The technologies used by a MOOC are widely available and free. They include blogs (Blogger, Wordpress), RSS readers, Twitter, Google Docs, Wikis, social bookmarking software. The course usually has a 'home' which is typically Moodle. This is where the syllabus and the weekly tasks are published, and it is also where conversations may start.

MOOCs have been criticised as being something that is not widely applicable. They assume a level of digital literacy that some learners lack – perhaps especially those with the greatest need to learn.


Sarah: Here’s a great wiki about how to organise a MOOC: 






[1] these are the recordings from the 24h Virtual Exchange

[a]Looking back at this which failed to get off the ground earlier in the year. Would be good to blog about the experience of trying reach consensus with such a large group.

[b]I know some believe that this title does not exclude. Please let me assure you that the feedback I am getting is pretty unanimous- everyone outside medicine and medical education is saying the same thing.

[c]Suggestions please? some starters for ten.....







[d]Will the aim of the meeting to finalise and make a decision on these points including action points

[e]I don't think we'll be able to decide them all but at least agree how to decide these things. What do you think?

[f]yes a mutally agreed method for agreeing things will be a big step forward

[g]re: multidisciplinary nature of the MOOC.

I'd like to see some time give n over to examining different models of health and dysfunction within healthcare, ones that we share, ones that are profession specific. I think this would alleviate some on-going concerns I have about this becoming a project defined by the medical model of practice, which I personally feel limits both interest and usefulness to the wider health community

[h]I like this one

[i]I like this one


[k]practice - not just medicine...

[l]Really looking forward to this project...

[m]Glad to be part of the team

[n]I am used to a high level of autonomy. I am unlikely to agree with a majority anyway so happy to go along with what happens as it is my voluntary time and I enjoy talking about my topic and the structure cannot go far wrong in 6 weeks.



[q]I am no longer able to have a substantial role in any teaching of this online course owing to other responsibilities - apologies, on my radar still for 2013.

[r]Think these two sections link to each other?

[s]Agree with this, but what tech will be required? Will we all have the ability?

[t]Aren't all the particpants going to be doing this?

[u]Yes that would be what I would expect. A lot of the content will be generated from the participants. Individuals will have different preferred formats.

[v]Is that the same as orientation above?


[x]Think this is the same as 'digital stewardship' above

[y]Is the aim here to have a paper published on this?

[z]Yes. Very much so.

[aa]Excellent - any idea how authors will be selected for this etc as would very much like ot e involved in this as i'm sure everyone else would

[ab]Would follow the COPE code of ethics. Will put it in the document.


[ad]Suggest keeping weekly topics simple and to the point including what tech will be introudced to use

[ae]Agree. This section needs some serious tidying up.

[af]I think it is very important to emphasise the inter-professional element to the MOOC. It would be great to collaboratively write some kind of "Mission Statement" to reflect the importance of this and the rationale behind our inter-professional collaboration in ensuring the Course is Massive and people are able to follow their own interests within and across our allied professions.

Perhaps working groups of each profession could be developed in order to develop content that reflects that particular profession's expertise, but which would be interesting to others? From an OT perspective, I would love to see other health professionals getting access to information about occupational science. expose


[ah]I'm really interested to hear from everybody what they think about examining the different theoretical and practical basics behind our differing practice models through collaborating in Social spaces online. Can Social Media bridge the gaps between our differnces and lead to increased Interdisciplinary collaboration? (and inclusion of patients and carers as partners in their care)

[ai]Another cool thing about doing face to face I find is that I gather groups of student volunteers into roles to help me with my own community engagement activities - they get recognition, and I get help. This is what can make it massive - rather than roles and individuals, think about how everyone can try to gather in people IRL to contribute as they can (with the tedious tasks, they love it!!!) and provide recognition letters for their portfolios.

[aj]Until we do a project plan this date must be aspiratational only. Also Change11 finished May 20, if we have two week recess, then June seems realistic as a early date.

[ak]Have placed my comments on the marketing doc

[al]Glad to see we're already having some contentious comments but maybe the rules on process people sign up to will include being courteous? Zoe COT

[am]Coming to this discussion quite late but have you had a look at this course run by the University of  British Columbia  - Social Media in Health and Medicine

[an]Hello there Zoe from COT very excited about the MOOC

[ao]Agree it Needs to have a Health rather than medical focus. Medical does suggest doctors and excludes my public health fellows.

[ap]... it is not possible to follow the same procedures in 'massive' as for real world small consensus decisions.  dynamically changing environments do not wait for the usual timelines and success is carried by good will and great content