Understanding Dementia (2017) MOOC

Course Description

Understanding Dementia is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), offering university-quality education about the latest in dementia research and care. This free 9-week course provides an opportunity to engage with the perspectives of an international community, without requiring exams or assignments.

Understanding Dementia is designed to be accessible and appealing to people from diverse backgrounds, including:

  • Health professionals
  • Community and residential facility support staff
  • Health policymakers
  • Social scientists
  • People in the early stages of the disease, their families and carers
  • Individuals with a general interest in dementia

Understanding Dementia addresses the foremost issues surrounding dementia, providing avenues for discussion as well as rich global networking opportunities to engage with this major international health Issue. The course provides knowledge designed to maximise quality of life across the trajectory of dementia for people with the condition, their families and carers.

The course runs for 9 weeks in total. To obtain the most from this experience, participants should expect to spend approximately 3 hours per week engaging with the content and completing related course activities. After completing the final quizzes for all three units of the course: 'The Brain', 'The Diseases' and 'The Person', participants will be eligible to download a free certificate of completion, as well as a record of the notes that they have taken throughout the course.

Course Outline

A background on basic brain anatomy and function

The Brain

The Brain provides background content on basic nervous system anatomy and function, followed by a discussion of the diseases that cause dementia, current dementia research and future directions.

  • Nervous system anatomy
  • Anatomy with Body Central
  • Pathology of dementia
  • Future directions of dementia research
Explores the differences between dementia and normal ageing

The Diseases

The Diseases explores differences between normal ageing and dementia, risk factors, issues surrounding diagnosis, as well as medical management.

  • Difference between normal ageing and dementia
  • Risk factors for dementia
  • Domains of dementia
  • Diagnosis of dementia
  • Younger onset dementia
  • Stages of dementia and focusing support
  • Medical management
The course addresses the difficulties in recognising symptoms, progression and staging of the disease and also what it is like to live with dementia

The Person

The Person addresses difficulties in recognising symptoms, living with dementia, palliation, pain, dementia friendly communities, dementia inclusive design, and alternative therapies.

  • Insidious onset of dementia
  • Living with dementia
  • Dementia palliation
  • Alternative therapies
  • Behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia
  • Pain and dementia
  • Advanced dementia symptoms and management
  • Dementia friendly communities
  • Dementia inclusive design

Anybody, from carers to health professionals and anyone else interested in dementia.

If you have other questions about the Understanding Dementia MOOC, please contact us.

The course content is made available to you as you complete each section, and you’re free to participate at your own pace. Being unavailable for a few weeks should not be a major problem as long as you can make up the time in other weeks. This nine-week course is accessible over a period of twelve weeks. It is expected that most people will need to spend a few hours each week to complete it.

No. There is no live or real-time material, so you can log on at any time within the time frame of the course. Therefore, you can complete the course regardless of which time zone you are in or the time of day you wish to dedicate to your learning.

Each three-week unit will be released in sequence. Some people may finish all course materials a few weeks early, while others will spread their learning over the total period.

The requirements of CPD vary across professions, as well as between countries, where they may be known under other names, such as CEUs. You may have to check with your local training authority for more information.

Yes, if you complete the course (3 units, which includes successful completion of each end-of-unit quiz), you will be able to download a free certificate of completion (please note that this is an electronic certificate), as well as a record of the notes you have taken throughout the course. This year, in response to participant feedback, we are also offering paid certificate options in addition to the free certificate option.

You may also wish to gain University accreditation for the MOOC by enrolling in the Negotiated Study in Understanding Dementia elective unit (CAD110), and undertaking additional assessments through the University of Tasmania.

For participants in the most recent MOOC, your Notes are available to download from https://mooc.utas.edu.au/notebooks .  For participants that have completed the Understanding Dementia MOOC, your certificate is available to download from https://mooc.utas.edu.au/awards .You will be asked to Log in. If your existing password does not allow you to log in, you may need to set a new one. Click on the ‘Forgot your password link’ on the Log in page and follow the prompts to set a new password.

Enrolment Dates

Enrolment opens:
Enrolment closes:

Course Dates

Course opens:
Course closes:
We acknowledge the palawa/pakana peoples of lutruwita upon whose lands the University of Tasmania stands.

Produced by the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre, 2019.

© University of Tasmania, Australia.

ABN 30 764 374 782. CRICOS Provider Code 00586B.

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