Open online course covered by Richmond Times-Dispatch

Our open online course on “Global Health and Social Media” was covered this week by the Richmond Times-Dispatch and VCU News. The articles “VCU ventures into online educational phenomenon” by the Times-Dispatch took a broader look at MOOC offerings at VCU, while the article “Students in online course develop social media strategies for global health care nonprofits” by VCU News also interviewed some of the students enrolled in our course.

The following is an excerpt from the article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

A second MOOC is underway this semester with 120 students working on social media campaigns for global health issues.

The students are putting together social media strategies for two nonprofit organizations, the World Pediatric Project, based in Richmond, and the Preemptive Love Coalition, which provides heart surgery to children in Iraq.

Marcus Messner, associate professor of journalism, said 10 projects teams are working on strategies for each of the two nonprofits, whose representatives meet with the students in Google Hangouts to discuss specific needs.

VCU is not using an online platform such as Coursera to massively deliver its course content, as the University of Virginia has done to draw thousands to its free, noncredit classes.

But VCU has opened its courses to the public. Messner’s course runs through Oct. 26 and includes Google Hangout sessions with social media managers of leading health nonprofits.

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