Provider: University of Liverpool at FutureLearn [course page]
Lecturer: Peter Kinderman
Subject: Science / Medicine / Psychology
Delivery: intake-based asynchronous study
Recommended Load: 3 hrs/week over 6 weeks
Completion Date: 19/10/2014
Description: This course offers an insight into the impacts of mental health on society and the various schools of thought on origins of mental illness, prevention and treatment.
Strengths: As mentioned previously, I am somewhat fascinated by Psychology. This stems from a family history of mental illness and an interest in writing characters that reflect reality. It is one of those areas of study that also has a huge impact on society yet remains woefully unfunded in the budgets of various countries throughout the world. It is important, but in order to address mental health issues, we must have some grasp of the various issues involved in prevention and treatment of mental illness.
This course first deals with the origins of mental illness, ranging from genetics to environmental factors. The debate is ongoing, but many psychologists and neuroscientists tend to fall in either of two categories. Though the course lecturer reveals his own stance, he also offers a bunch of different papers for students to read and make up their own mind on the subject.
With this subjective approach, the course also avoids having much in the way of graded assessment. Quizzes and activities are more a means of encouraging students to consider what they know about Psychology and mental health rather than feeding them answers. This adequately reflects the nature of psychology and science in general. It allows for new information to offer further insight into such problems or questions about nature and human nature.
Weaknesses: This course involves reading numerous scientific papers and advisory documents. If this doesn’t appeal to you, then this course is not for you.
Conclusion: I really liked the approach used, though I would liked more of a focus on the terminology used in psychology. But that is not exactly what the course is about. It moves slightly closer to philosophy of Psychology because students are asked to spend their time considering how they think about mental health. This course may not be for everyone, but if you are looking to understand how people consider the problem of mental illness and its impact on society, then this MOOC will likely be of some interest.