Provider: University of Reading at FutureLearn [course page]
Course Design: Natasha Barrett + a team of experts
Subject: Science / Medicine
Delivery: Intake-based asynchronous study
Recommended Load: 3 hrs/wk for 4 weeks
Completion Date: 10/05/2014
Description: This course discusses the anatomy of the heart and the numerous disorders that can affect heart health.
Strengths: This MOOC teaches students about the anatomy of the cardiovascular system in order to offer context for the numerous cardiovascular diseases that are discussed later. Such explanations are shown via lectures from various speakers and weekly practicals-slash-experiments. These range from the dissection of a heart in the first week to fun with water balloons. Although I didn’t do any of the practicals, I did get a lot out of watching the related videos.
Student understanding is tested by a weekly quiz. The questions are straight-forward multiple choice questions. At the end of each week, there is an additional supplementary interview with an expert in the field.
Weaknesses: Hearts are weird. Seriously, have you seen those things?!!!
Conclusion: I really enjoyed this MOOC. Oddly enough, I didn’t feel as comfortable watching dissections in high school as I did during the practical during the first week. Natasha Barrett had a way of teaching that put students at ease and made the material such as the practicals interesting. I especially found myself looking to the practicals because it allowed for a physical demonstration of the various phenomena covered during a given week. I highly recommend this course for those looking to brush up on cardiovascular anatomy, folks with a family history of cardiovascular disease, and/or those that are just curious about how the heart work but don’t have any formal education on the subject.