MOOCs Offer Free Worldwide Access to Duke Global Health Experts


David Boyd teaches his course through case studies, discussion, videos and more. This video, part of the course's "Around the World with Dr. Boyd" series, shows Boyd in Bolivia talking about chronic diseases.

Published January 4, 2016, last updated on April 21, 2016 under Education News

Last year, two faculty members from the Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI)—John Bartlett and David Boyd—launched massive open online courses (MOOCs). Responses to both of these courses have been overwhelmingly positive. Bartlett’s course will begin its second run on January 11, and Boyd’s course is offered on-demand, so participants can begin the course at any time.

So you want to learn about tropical parasitology?

Bartlett teaches the course, “Tropical Parasitology: Protozoans, Worms, Vectors and Human Diseases,” with two tropical parasitology professors from Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College (KCMC) in Tanzania: Mramba Nyindo and Franklin Mosha. The eight-week course is free and open to everyone.

The course features interviews with practicing doctors and video filmed in the field to illustrate important concepts and examples to give students a rich background in treating and preventing tropical disease. 

During its first run, nearly 8,200 participants from 171 countries enrolled in the course. Many participants offered positive feedback. Sample comments include:

  • Excellent team of lecturers complimented each other in conveying very informed lectures on a rarely discussed topic of Tropical Parasitology.
  • Thank you for the great learning experience. It was an honor and a great inspiration to learn from such passionate and respected experts in their respective fields
  • Thank you for an excellent course. I highly recommend this course to any practitioner or health care professional or anyone with an interest in parasitology.

To register for the course, visit the “Tropical Parasitology: Protozoans, Worms, Vectors and Human Diseases” course page on the Coursera website.

So you’re interested in global health?

Boyd’s course, a self-paced five-module MOOC titled “The Challenges of Global Health,” is geared toward individuals with little or no experience in global health, such as high school or beginning college students who are trying to determine if they should pursue a degree in the field.

The course looks at the developing world through a range of videos: lectures, interviews with experts and videos Boyd has filmed of his global health work across the globe. Last fall, Boyd updated the course to reflect the shift from the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). New videos and assessments have also been added.

To date, more than 14,600 participants from 186 countries have joined the course. Judging by the course feedback, “The Challenges of Global Health” has been well-received:

  • Dr. Boyd is an excellent instructor. A great selection of topics presented in a very logical and engaging manner. The interviews gave me great insight into the different topics.
  • Boyd was fantastic. He was enthusiastic and passionate and I loved that he filmed from different contexts and brought in so much of his experience.
  • Congratulations for one of the best courses on Coursera!

To register for “The Challenges of Global Health,” visit the course page on Coursera. 

Learn more: 

Collectively reaching nearly 23,000 learners, these MOOCs have received excellent feedback from participants.