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Determining the impact of the Understanding Dementia Massive Open Online Course

Contact: Kathleen Doherty

Determining the impact of the Understanding Dementia Massive Open Online Course

The Understanding Dementia Massive Open Online Course (UDMOOC) was designed by the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre to address the absence of accessible quality education and improve the dementia literacy of a wide cross-section of the community. Since its inception over 200,000 people have enrolled in the UDMOOC across many sectors with a sustained completion rate that vastly exceeds comparable MOOCs. The MOOC attracts a broad cross-section of participants from the interested lay public through to people providing informal or formal care to people living with dementia in community, residential or acute settings, family members of people living with dementia, educators, and health professionals.

We are currently exploring multiple aspects of the impact of the MOOC particularly with regard to knowledge translation and dementia literacy. Knowledge, skills, attitudes, confidence, changes in behaviour and practices, stigma, quality of life, stress, social engagement, access to services and transition to care are some of the major areas of interest.

These projects involve the use of mixed methodologies, including the interrogation of large datasets arising from MOOC participant engagement. Our work includes the development, selection and adaptation of survey instruments, interviews and objective behavioural measurements to map the knowledge translation pathway.


  • Determine reach, uptake and impact of the Understanding Dementia MOOC across parameters of learning including satisfaction, uptake, knowledge gain, behaviour and practice change and outcomes for participants across different needs bases.

Research Team:


  • The JO and JR Wicking Trust


Eccleston, C., Doherty, K., Bindoff, A. et al. Building dementia knowledge globally through the Understanding Dementia Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). npj Sci. Learn. 4, 3 (2019).

McInerney, F., Doherty, K., Bindoff, A., Robinson, A. and Vickers, J., 2018. How is palliative care understood in the context of dementia? Results from a massive open online course. Palliative medicine, 32(3), pp.594-602.