A few months ago, I had the opportunity to take an online course entitled Introduction to the Science of Cancer offered by the Ohio State University through the online education app called Coursera. I was excited to see what the course material contained. As someone with a hereditary cancer syndrome, I feel like I know more than your average bear about cancer, but this was a good way to see where I stood.
I logged into the class and read through the syllabus. The class was a series of video lectures offered by various personnel at The James Cancer Hospital connected with Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. There were 5 modules, each with a different lecturer for the different focus. The Modules covered What is Cancer, Diagnosis of Cancer, Treatment of Cancer, Prevention of Cancer and Cancer Research. Each module was connected to a video that was about an hour in length. The best part, the course was absolutely FREE.
After each module, there was a quiz worth 10 points and you could take each quiz two times. I liked to take the quiz before watching the video to see what I knew going in and what I had to focus on. The nice part was I could work through the module at my convenience(in my pjs or while at my daughter's soccer practice.) As long as you finish the quizzes by the class deadline, you get credit. Did I mention the course was FREE? Free education! Free information from one of the leading cancer centers in the US!
Along with the quizzes, each student was responsible for a final project. No fear- it was a creative project that had two options for me to choose from. You could design a project that explored how cancer impacted you, your family and community or you could create an artifact for cancer awareness for the community you live in. You had a lot of free reign with what you could do. You could write a poem, make a poster,sing a song-anything that appealed to you. I really liked this aspect of the course. Then after you complete the project, you get points for reviewing at least 5 peer projects. This was fascinating and I learned a lot about how cancer is perceived and treated all over the world. I was so impressed at how far reaching this program was. Did I mention it was FREE?
Living with a hereditary cancer syndrome means we have some crazy stuff pop up at inopportune times. I know many friends who have had to postpone education due to cancer and treatment. This course offered the opportunity without the fear, you could do it at your own pace and if you didn't finish, all you miss out on is a certificate. I would definitely recommend this course or any others that might interest you through Coursera- check it out. Knowledge is power! www.coursera.org
I am really thankful for everyone at the James who took the time to record the enlightening lectures about cancer for this course. It really was a good resource.
In case you were wondering- I did my project on LFS and Living LFS. I figured why not take the opportunity to educate about Li-Fraumeni Syndrome as well as tell about how it impacts families like ours. If you click on the slide above, it will take you through my project.
If you missed out on the fall class and are interested in enrolling, the course is offered starting January 25, 2016! https://www.coursera.org/course/cancer