• University of Nottingham

Becoming an Expert Educator in the Healthcare Professions

Explore healthcare teaching and learn the teaching strategies to create a great learning environment for healthcare professionals.

9,556 enrolled on this course

Female healthcare expert educating a table of other healthcare professionals

Becoming an Expert Educator in the Healthcare Professions

9,556 enrolled on this course

  • 6 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

Find out more about how to join this course

  • Duration

    6 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Unlimited subscription

    $244.99 for one whole yearLearn more

Become an expert health educator and make a difference

Connect with a global network of multi-professional educators in healthcare, and gain new perspectives on your teaching strategies and values as a health educator.

On this course from the University of Nottingham, you’ll identify and apply the fundamentals of education to the healthcare professions. You will be empowered to make evidence-based improvements to your teaching.

The course is designed to share with new or established educators the latest evidence-based approaches and thinking around delivering effective education in healthcare.

Create an effective learning environment for your students

The course will begin by exploring the concept of motivation, and asking why it’s essential for effective learning. You’ll discuss Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, as well as learning styles and strategies.

You’ll learn about the role of memory in learning, and discover the types of memory and exercises that will allow you to help your students.

Discover cognitive load theory and instructional design

There are several effective approaches to designing teaching. You’ll learn about the types of cognitive load, the principles of instruction, and instructional design.

Assessments are also a vital part of teaching, so you’ll learn about assessment methods. You’ll think about what makes a reliable and valid assessment, and then explore what comprises good feedback.

Learn to create a positive group dynamic

In the final few weeks, you’ll investigate how to create a good group dynamic in the classroom. From considering the psychological safety of students to developing group-based activities, you’ll learn to foster a positive learning environment.

Ultimately, you’ll learn some of the fundamental concepts around learning, teaching, assessment, feedback, the environment, and curriculum design.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 18 seconds Have you ever thought what makes an expert educator, or how best equip healthcare professionals for entering the workplace?

Skip to 0 minutes and 43 seconds Whether it’s preparing the next generation of nurses, midwives, or physiotherapists, or continuing professional development for doctors, educating healthcare professionals takes place in many locations and throughout their working lives. Our challenge is to deliver the best education we can using the most effective tools and methods that are available to us. Whether in hospitals, clinics, or in the community, in classrooms or lecture theatres, there are thousands of us delivering education and training for others. This course will share best practice in education by applying underlying theory and sharing our experiences with you. If you are involved in educating, training, supervising or mentoring within the healthcare professions, then this is the course for you.

Skip to 1 minute and 31 seconds We can provide you with the professional knowledge to help improve and refine your skills. You will have the opportunity to work alongside people from a wide range of healthcare professions. Our course is delivered by an experienced group of educators from medicine, nursing, midwifery, and physiotherapy. We are all committed to sharing what we know works best in healthcare education. Together, we will navigate through the key concepts of teaching, learning, assessment, feedback, context in the curriculum, sharing real life examples with you along the way.


  • Week 1


    • Welcome and introduction to the course

      Welcome to our course. Here you will meet our team of educators and find out what you will be doing with us in the next 6 weeks.

    • Motivation

      Motivation is a driver for effective learning. Here we will explore what factors affect motivation and the implications for design of teaching activities.

    • Learning strategies

      In this next section we will consider learning strategies.

    • Thinking about thinking and reflection

      The ability to plan, respond to feedback, evaluate your own performance and make sense of things in order to improve are important skills for effective learning. Here we will explore these concepts in more detail.

    • Summary

      Summary of learning outcomes for Week 1 and a brief look at Week 2.

  • Week 2


    • Welcome

      An introduction to Week 2

    • The importance of memory

      Memory is an important factor in learning. We will explore memory here and its implication for teachers

    • Designing effective teaching activities

      How do we as teachers design effective teaching activities despite the limitations of memory?

    • The role of instructional design

      The next steps discuss the ways in which memory and its limitations may influence teaching activities, focusing on instructional design.

    • Summary

      A recap and look to Week 3

  • Week 3


    • Welcome to Week 3

      Welcome and introduction to the Week

    • Validity

      How do you know if the task you designed will measure someone's knowledge or performance? Here we explore the concept of 'validity' in assessment.

    • Reliability

      How reliable are our assessments? This section considers how we can make sure our assessment results can be reproduced in a reliable way.

    • Different assessment methods

      In this section, we consider some of the methods of assessment used in the healthcare professions.

    • Summary

      A recap and look towards Week 4 where we will be looking at feedback.

  • Week 4


    • Welcome to Week 4

      Welcome and introduction to the week

    • What is feedback?

      Here we explore what feedback is, and what constitutes the perfect feedback recipe.

    • The relationship between teacher and learner

      The development of trust and respect is fundamental to an ideal feedback relationship between teacher and learner. We explore what that means in this section.

    • The learner in the feedback relationship

      What is the learner's responsibility and how they can be a willing feedback recipient?

    • Summary

      A recap and look towards Week 5 where we will be looking at the learning environment.

  • Week 5


    • Welcome to Week 5

      This week we look at the learning environment

    • The role of the teacher

      What is the role of the teacher in creating a good environment for learning?

    • Protecting the learner

      In this section we consider the make-up of the learner and protecting their psychological safety.

    • Group dynamics and the role of technology

      Here we explore group dynamics and the role of technology in creating new learning environments

    • Summary

      A recap and look towards Week 6 where we will be looking at curriculum.

  • Week 6


    • Welcome

      Introduction and welcome to week 6

    • Exploring the curriculum

      Differences between curriculum, curriculum statement and syllabus

    • Aligning your content

      Here we will look at how teaching content is aligned with the syllabus and the overall curriculum

    • Quality assurance

      Now we will explore your role, as a teacher, in maintaining quality assurance of the curriculum

    • Summary

      Wrapping up Week 6 curriculum

    • Course resources

      Here you will find references and recommendations for further reading relevant to the course.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Reflect on and articulate the meaning of effective instruction in the healthcare professions context
  • Justify the validity and reliability of a given assessment or programme of assessment
  • Explain the core elements of ‘good’ feedback
  • Describe the rationale for ensuring constructive alignment across a curriculum
  • Explore the influence of group dynamics on the learning environment
  • Identify the role of motivation in effective learning
  • Identify appropriate evidence-based learning strategies for use in the classroom or clinical workplace
  • Identify common methods and approaches to assessment used in healthcare professions education

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for healthcare professionals who work in, or have an interest in, delivering formal or informal education.

Who will you learn with?

I am a consultant physician and educator based at the University Hospitals of Derby & Burton, and the University of Nottingham, UK.

I am an Assistant Professor in Midwifery and have had an academic career spanning 20 years which has involved developing new teachers, course leadership and e-learning amongst other things.

I'm a children's critical care nurse and an educator. Honing my skills in both clinical and classroom based teaching, I have specific interests in using simulation and digital learning pedagogy.

I am a Clinical Associate Professor in Medical Education at the University of Nottingham and Honorary Consultant Nephrologist at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.

My role includes teaching, mentoring and supporting undergraduate physiotherapy students and practice educators in all aspects of practice-based learning.

I am a Professor of e-Learning and health informatics in the School of Health Sciences at the University of Nottingham. My interests are around designing for e-learning in healthcare education.

Who developed the course?

The University of Nottingham

The University of Nottingham is committed to providing a truly international education, inspiring students with world-leading research and benefitting communities all around the world.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save

$244.99 for one whole year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$134/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 6 Jul 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Sale price available until 3 June 2024 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Sale price available until 3 June 2024 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Learning on FutureLearn

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Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
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  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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