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This content is taken from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine & UK Public Health Rapid Support Team's online course, COVID-19: Tackling the Novel Coronavirus. Join the course to learn more.

Learning with us

If this is your first course, please review the ‘Using FutureLearn’  for an introduction to learning with FutureLearn.

The purpose of this course

This course is provided for personal use only and not for any commercial, professional medical or business purpose. All content and opinions presented throughout this course are for educational purposes only and do not constitute the provision of professional medical or public health advice.

You should not rely on the contents of this course or other learners in place of professional advice from a regulated medical professional.

If you have any concerns about a particular health condition or COVID-19, please seek the most current medical and/or public health advice from a qualified medical practitioner. LSHTM shall not be liable, to the maximum extent permitted by UK law, for any adverse or negative consequence arising from your reliance on the information contained in this course, or for any commercial use by a business or medical practitioner, including but not limited to loss of profit, loss of business, business interruption, or loss of business opportunity.

The UK Public Health Rapid Support Team is funded by UK Aid from the Department of Health and Social Care and is jointly run by Public Health England and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. The University of Oxford is an academic partner.

The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the National Health Service, the National Institute for Health Research or the Department of Health and Social Care.

Please note

Whilst we have endeavoured to ensure the course is as current as possible, new information on this disease is accumulating every day. It is inevitable that some of it will no longer be as up-to-date as possible. In order to mitigate this, we have provided links to sites where information is being updated closer to real time.

Considerate conversation

Almost every step has space for conversation and debate in the Comments area. While Discussion steps feature more focused conversational tasks, anyone can talk about material within each step’s Comments area. We will regularly prompt you to share your thoughts and ideas with questions or suggestions at the end of a step. You can contribute to these conversations as and when you are able to. You might like to read  5 tips and tools for social learning on FutureLearn  to help you get the most out the platform’s social features. Before taking part, please read FutureLearn’s Code of Conduct.

If you see a comment that is deliberately sharing misinformation, or inflammatory, or that is otherwise inappropriate, please press the flag button beneath the comment for FutureLearn’s moderators to review.

Remember that you must not request or give medical advice, even if you are qualified or knowledgeable in that area.

Learners whose comments repeatedly break the Code of Conduct may be suspended from FutureLearn.

Course facilitation

Due to the high level of interest in this topic, we anticipate a large volume of comments on this course. We will ‘pin’ comments from the Educators so these are highlighted at the top of discussions, and you can ‘follow’ the course team to find their comments more easily.

Please note we will be facilitating discussions on the following dates:

Week 1 - week commencing 25th May

Week 2 - week commencing 1st June

Week 3 - week commencing 8th June

The ability to post new comments will be turned off at the end of the facilitation period on Friday 12th June.

If you are experiencing any technical issues with FutureLearn, please use the ‘Support’ button at the bottom-right of the page.


How will we learn?

Throughout our three weeks together, we will use articles, mini-lectures, audio, and videos with experts from around the world to highlight some of the key issues and thinking around COVID-19. We encourage you to assess your learning through quizzes and share your experiences and views through discussion with fellow learners and the course team. We also encourage you to refer to the FAQ documents where provided. Most steps include reference lists and supplementary reading that you may find useful for further study.

How will I learn?

There is no single way to approach the course that guarantees success. The way you learn depends on many factors and will not necessarily be the same as everyone else. However, in order to maintain enthusiasm and gain confidence about your studies, why not take a more active role within the course? You could:

  • Take notes on course steps. Which aspects of the material are most interesting to you and why? Is there anything you have struggled to understand? Why might that be?

  • Analyse connections between the current step and previous ones to help build a clearer picture of a topic

  • Ask yourself questions about what you’re learning and how it relates to your own experiences

  • Discuss your learning with others and consider how you can apply new knowledge, either in your personal life or a professional situation

  • Explain what you have learned to others if they are struggling.

In summary, one great way to figure out how to learn is to think about it.

Language and accessibility

We have tried to keep the content as accessible as possible, although some Steps (particularly in Week 1) do use technical medical and scientific terms. Please don’t be put off by this and do continue to the rest of the course. Where possible, we have listed additional resources under the ‘See Also’ section to provide further explanation.

All audio and video steps have subtitles and/or downloadable transcripts available. For each video in the course, you will find subtitles in eight languages: English, Chinese, Portuguese (BR), Spanish (ES), French, Italian, Swahili, and Arabic. You can enable subtitles on videos and choose your language as shown below.

Screengrab showing how to enable the subtitles and choose your language on a video step

We have also translated the written course material into different languages (French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, Arabic, Swahili) which are uploaded as supplementary downloads.

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This article is from the free online course:

COVID-19: Tackling the Novel Coronavirus

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: