The videos have gone silent as Take Your Medicine, the college's first massive open online course (MOOC), concludes, but the program's successes live on.
The course, one of four to launch The University of Texas at Austin into the world of MOOCs, drew a world audience of more than 23,000 student enrollees. A total of 11% of the enrollees completed the course and earned a certificate of completion, almost doubled the average completion rate for other courses offered via edX, the MOOC platform founded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University in 2012. The UT System is one of approximately 29 other recognized institutions of higher education that offers courses using the platform. EdX is estimated to have nearly 1.6 million users.
Course developer and chief faculty representative, Dr. Janet Walkow, led the project.
The executive director and chief technology officer of the college's Drug Dynamics Institute, Walkow enjoys opportunities to teach. She has said that she was particularly drawn to the challenges of taking consumers from throughout the world and providing them with the tools to understand the drug development process and become smart consumers.
To accomplish this goal, she pulled together a team of almost 30 presenters ranging from highly educated and skilled researchers to patients who shared their stories of drug therapy. Other presenters included Austin pharmacists as well as representatives from the Food and Drug Administration. Each provided a key link in helping students understanding the role of drugs in fighting disease and helped mold the students to become consumers who can make informed decisions about drug therapies.
The student population represented 15 countries with the greatest number of enrollees coming from the United States, India, the United Kingdom, Canada and Brazil. TYM students surpassed the edX averages regarding levels of education with the majority of its enrollees having a master's (23%) or bachelor's degree (33%). Additionally, 4% of enrolled students had a doctorate degree while 23% held a high school diploma as their highest level of education.
Walkow will discuss the successes and challenges as well as the technology and manpower behind development of TYM at several upcoming forums including ones at SXSW-EDU, SXSW Interactive, and MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Last Reviewed: February 10, 2014