May 29 2017 - Jun 25 2017


This massive open online course (MOOC) is a comprehensive introduction to global health. It covers a wide range of topics and provides the foundations for further study and practice. The course is based on the global health courses the creator, Richard Skolnik, taught over the last 15 years at United States (US) universities The George Washington University and Yale. In many ways, it is a digital version of Skolnik's textbook, Global Health 101, and can be used side by side with the book if desired. The course is like an interactive textbook, featuring pre-recorded videos, quizzes, and projects. The video sessions for the course were filmed in a "classroom" with a small group of students in an effort to make the videos more engaging for all types of learners. Moreover, 2 of the sessions feature videos of colleagues who are working on women's health, immunisation, and neglected tropical diseases.

The syllabus for the course includes readings on key global health topics, which are linked with discussion prompts for each of the 31 sessions. For instance, Module 4 focuses on the relationship between the environment and health, complex humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters and health, and nutrition and health. There is also an assessment of the health of women, children, and adolescents. A single session is devoted exclusively to childhood immunisation. Module 6 focuses on the likely global health challenges of the next few decades and how science and technology can be harnessed, though collective action, to address those challenges.

Anyone can sign up for the course and take it for free. Just click here and enroll as an auditor to access the courses for free. The course will be offered every 4 weeks or so; prospective participants can sign up for the course a week or so in advance of the start of each new session. Once you sign up for the course, you will be able to follow it in order of the modules if you like, or you can skip around week-by-week to work on only the modules that interest you. Those interested in earning a certificate for successfully completing the course (earning 80% or above across the assessments) can pay US$49 for a Coursera certificate.

Email from Ellyn Ogden to The Communication Initiative on April 29 2017; and Coursera website, May 3 2017. Image credit: Michael Mengual