The digital future: the University comes to you

Discover Dentistry image of teeth and dental instrumentsMassive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are transforming Higher Education, giving everyone an opportunity to take part in a high quality, flexible and innovative learning experience.

The University of Sheffield has developed a number of online programmes and is working in conjunction with FutureLearn, the first UK-led MOOC provider of free, open, online higher education courses.  The University’s first offer via FutureLearn is Discover Dentistry – an entertaining and illuminating course which explores the impact dentistry has on our lives.

This free course will start on Monday 3 March 2014 and run for six weeks.  Learning time is three hours per week and there are no prerequisites for registering for the course and education or academic background is not important – budding learners simply need an internet connection.

Discover Dentistry will enlighten learners with the truth about teeth – from the importance of a smile and how to fix broken teeth, to the letters and numbers called out by the dentist during a check-up and how dentures are made.

Discover Dentistry - Chris Stokes with assistantParticipants will interact with experts from the School of Clinical Dentistry from the comfort of their own homes and learn about all aspects of the profession.  Prospective applicants to Dentistry courses may find it a useful introduction to the world of dental health but it could also appeal to learners taking Science at both GCSE / A Level and equivalent.  The MOOC will give younger learners the unique opportunity to learn more about the subject which is not taught in schools, whilst an older audience have the chance to discover fascinating facts about their pearly whites.

Throughout the course innovative exercises will help to demystify the various roles and activities within a dental practice, and explore how common dental diseases and problems are treated by talking to professionals and watching them work.

Dr Chris Stokes, from the Academic Unit of Restorative Dentistry who is teaching Discover Dentistry, said this course is for everyone.

"Whether you are an aspiring dentist, or want to learn about the interesting multidisciplinary world of looking after smiles, we are inviting anyone with an interest in the subject to join us for an entertaining and insightful exploration of your mouth and the people who care for it," said Dr Stokes.

Other MOOCs covering a broad spectrum of exciting subjects are in the process of being developed and launched so keep an eye on the University of Sheffield website for future announcements.

For more information or to register for the course visit the Discover Dentistry website