Arthritis Research UK Medical Research Council

CIMA Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on staying active into old age a success

News - November 22nd 2016

The Musculoskeletal System: The Science of Staying Active into Old Age

The Musculoskeletal System: The Science of Staying Active into Old Age

The first group of learners on the new MOOC course, ‘The Musculoskeletal System: The Science of Staying Active into Old Age’ have recently completed their studies.

Hosted on the FutureLearn platform, CIMA researchers from the Universities of Liverpool, Sheffield and Newcastle, and the Online Learning Team at the University of Sheffield developed and delivered an engaging educational experience through a blend of articles, discussions, short films, animations and quizzes.  Over three weeks, the course explored how our bones, joints, ligaments and muscles function less well as we age, and explained how lifestyle interventions such as exercise and diet can help us live healthier for longer. Alongside academics and experts, learners also heard from those experiencing musculoskeletal ageing issues via Sheffield’s ‘Patients as Educators’ programme.

Just under 9000 people signed up to do the MOOC.  79% of the learners were over 46 years, with the majority of learners between the ages of 56-65 and over-65. Feedback from the course has shown that some learners intend on changing their behaviour as a result of the course, such as increasing resistance exercise, increasing their intake of vitamin-D and calcium, sitting less and eating more healthily. Course ratings revealed that -

  • 90% of learners said their experience of the course was good or excellent
  • 92% of learners said the course overall met or exceeded their expectations
  • 83% found the educators engaging or very engaging
  • 85% of learners said that they were very likely to recommend FutureLearn to a friend.

CIMA plan on running the course again during 2017, and are beginning to develop ideas for further courses related to ageing and the musculoskeletal system.



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