The MOOC Factory

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Scientists need to adopt interdisciplinary approaches in view of the ongoing cross-sectoral and global developments in the healthcare sector. To better meet these challenges the Centre Virchow-Villermé is developing internet-based and freely accessible online courses, so-called MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).


17 MOOCs were produced in 2014-2016 for the public health sector and reunited 44,845 participants. The first four MOOCs have been developed in cooperation with French IT specialists from INRIA (National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control). The courses are offered publicly via the FUN platform (France Digital University), Coursera and Iversity. The curriculum covers core public health disciplines: biostatistics, epidemiology, history of medicine, demography, health management, public health policy and social sciences in the healthcare sector.

With its MOOCs, the Centre Virchow-Villermé is pursuing two objectives: (1) providing freely accessible education in the public health sector, thereby also addressing underserved regions (e.g. French-speaking Africa) and (2), actively contributing to innovation within the European university landscape.


The “MOOC Factory” of the Centre Virchow-Villermé receives dedicated support from excellent international guest researchers, who in context of the Sanofi Chair contribute their expertise to the conception and production of MOOCs.