Online Learning in Healthcare - Presentation at the Health Professions Network Spring Meeting

NextGenU.org’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Miriam Chickering, and Founder, Dr. Erica Frank, presented at the Health Professions Network (HPN) Spring Meeting. In this session, they focused on online learning in healthcare and explained NextGenU.org’s role in the online learning community. You can read more about the webinar here.

Dr. Frank provided an overview of NextGenU.org’s innovative, unique approach to education. While our organization shares characteristics with traditional universities and massive open online courses, we have others that are completely unique to us (for credit for free, financial and time efficiency, competency-based learning, widely varied resources, advertisement-free, etc.)

In addition to courses, we offer several programs and trainings, including a Masters’ Degree in Public Health (MPH), Pre-health sciences training, MedSchoolInABox, Preventive Medicine Residency, and materials for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing through our partner organization, Nurses International. Our MPH curriculum consists of core courses that provide the necessary components of the degree, and sample electives with a variety of public health and clinical applications that can be used by institutions to offer a full MPH program, integrated into other degree programs, or used as continuing education training. The MPH program has been highly successful, with 150 students currently enrolled from over 40 countries, and more than 100 graduates.

This webinar also addresses common questions and concerns in online education, and NextGenU.org’s approaches and solutions to these issues. One concern that arose was the balance of quality control and cost control in providing accessible education. NextGenU.org makes no sacrifices to quality; we implement similar strategies that are used in universities worldwide. Our approach involves the use of existing online resources from our four approved sources (universities, governments, professional societies, and peer-reviewed journals) embedded in expertly created narratives and supplemented with interactive learning components to prepare students for board and university examinations. Ms. Chickering and Dr. Frank also discussed the question of student satisfaction and online learning. Research has shown superior course quality and greater student preferences for NextGenU.org’s educational model compared to traditional courses (92% preference where tested). Students worldwide particularly appreciate the affordability and flexibility that our educational model offers. Furthermore, it was noted that students generally struggle with completing online courses. Ms. Chickering and Dr. Frank addressed this, explaining that NextGenU.org’s strategy to overcome this issue involves the creation of supportive cohorts which have dramatically improved completion rates.

At NextGenU.org, we aim to democratize education globally. Ms. Chickering explained that to accomplish this, we not only provide individual courses, but also work with other organizations, institutions, societies, and educators to create highly contextualized content to meet the needs of learners around the world. Furthermore, our team consists of diverse members who work to develop materials for a diverse audience and provide global perspectives. With guidance and leadership from experts, NextGenU.org has been able to create and curate communities of online learning and make positive disruptions in the field of health and education.