The next Understanding Dementia MOOC

mooc_img_Emblem_250wThe University of Tasmania’s second Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), Understanding Dementia, is a 9-week online course that builds upon the latest in international research on dementia. It’s free and anyone can register.

Many readers of this blog undertook the course, and found it incredibly valuable. Not just people working in the field, but consumers with dementia, or looking after a family member with dementia.

The curriculum draws upon the expertise of neuroscientists, clinicians and dementia care professionals in the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre.

You can register now to secure your place in Understanding Dementia, to begin 31 March 2014.

Feedback from their first course:

I now have so much more to give to those I meet with dementia and so much more in the way of confidence … Great that you did not limit this education to university students, but gave all of us who are interested the opportunity to learn. Thank you.

I am enjoying the course immensely! Online study is a new area for me and I am loving it. Thank you!

I have really enjoyed the first week of the course. I already feel more empowered to help my darling mum with her Alzheimer’s.


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 and rich global networking opportunities to engage with this major international health issue. The course imparts knowledge to improve quality of life across the trajectory of dementia for people with the condition, their families and their carers.

Understanding Dementia provides an opportunity to engage with the perspectives of an international community, without requiring exams or assignments.

The course is divided into three main themes.


A background on basic brain anatomy and function

The Brain provides a background 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 Research


Explores the differences between dementia and normal ageing

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

  • Difference between normal ageing and dementia
  • Risk factors for dementia
  • Domains of dementia
  • Symptoms of advanced dementia
  • Diagnosis of dementia
  • 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 addresses the difficulties in recognising symptoms, living with dementia, progression and staging, palliation, behaviours, management and alternative therapies.

  • Insidious onset of dementia
  • Living with dementia
  • Dementia progression and staging
  • Dementia palliation
  • Dementia behaviours
  • Alternative therapies

Understanding Dementia MOOC_2014

8 thoughts on “The next Understanding Dementia MOOC

  1. Dear Kate

    We are conducting a research study under the course: Research for ICT Research Project as a part of Master’s Thesis Project at University Of Wollongong. The purpose of this project is to assessing factors impacting educators using MOOC. We would like to invite you to participate in the study to help us evaluate the survey instruments.The survey will take less than 10 minutes for you to complete. This research project has ethics approval under application No: HE14/269.

    The questionnaire is anonymous and targets all university educators in Australia. It will be filled out by participants online.

    The survey site is at the below link. Please copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser:

    Otherwise just press Ctrl button and click on the link above at the same time.

    We would appreciate if you could complete this survey and also pass this survey link ( on to any of your academic colleagues who may be willing to complete the survey.

    Thank you for your time,

    Sahar Ghomeshi
    Project Coordinator: Dr Jun Shen | School of Information systems and technology | Faculty of Engineering and Information science| University of Wollongong | | Phone: 02 42213873 | Office: 39. | Email: |


  2. Thanks for directing me to this Kate. I’m already enjoying it! Anything that will help me expand my knowledge and open my mind to all aspects of dementia care is a brilliant thing.


  3. I can thoroughly endorse this course. Despite the fact i have been working as a Dementia Consultant for the past ……. years. , I completed it last year and found it very good – one can never know enough about dementia, and how it can, through a ripple affect, impact on us all.


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