<< Back to document library

“To support the delivery of the UK’s 100,000 Genomes Project, Health Education England’s Genomics Education Programme developed a suite of resources, including a 3-week Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on whole genome sequencing via the FutureLearn platform. This MOOC is a synchronous learning event, with course educators and mentors (NHS healthcare science trainees in genomics) facilitating the experience in real time. Crucially, the platform allows participants to interact and learn from each other’s experiences. The evaluation of the course was considered from the learners’ and mentors’ perspectives. Perceptions of course relevance were examined through analysis of learner comments made throughout the course and responses to an end-of-course survey. Evaluation of mentors’ experiences focused on how prepared they felt to undertake their role and the value and benefit of their experience. Data was collected through a mixed methods study after the first two runs of the course. Here we present findings from 440 learners who provided end-of-course reflections, 360 learners who completed the post-course survey and 14 mentors who facilitated the course. The course met learners’ needs by providing a greater understanding of whole genome sequencing and the application of this technology in healthcare. Learners also highly valued the engagement with mentors. Mentors appreciated the experience and identified areas of professional development gained through the mentoring experience. Our findings show that a team of specialist healthcare course mentors engaging with a range of different healthcare professional MOOC learners in online conversation can enhance the learners’ experiences and provide a beneficial continuing professional development opportunity for mentors.”

This abstract is from the Genomics Education Programme-affiliated manuscript published in November 2019 in the academic journal Frontiers in Genetics. The full article can be obtained either via the sidebar’s Document Download, or via visiting the hosting journal’s webpage at: https://doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2019.01094


Publication type


First published

13th November 2019

Page updated

13th May 2024

Document Download

Manuscript: Genomic Education at Scale: The Benefits of Massive Open Online Courses for the Healthcare Workforce [PDF, 1 MB]