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Educator spotlight: Using online learning to improve mental health

Deakin is one of Australia’s largest universities, rapidly rising in the international rankings and currently featuring in the top 2% of the world’s universities. A quarter of their students study predominantly online and they offer 9 degrees, 1 program and 41 short courses on the FutureLearn platform. They recently launched a new 3-week course on Food and Mood: Improving Mental Health Through Diet and Nutrition. One of the course educators, Tetyana Rocks, answered our questions on how she found the process of creating a course on FutureLearn and why she feels it’s important to spread the word about the impact our daily diet has on our mental health:

“Creating and developing Food and Mood: Improving Mental Health Through Diet and Nutrition has been one of the most enjoyable and challenging experiences of my career as an educator. Right from the earliest stages, this course provided endless opportunities for me to learn and grow myself while crafting an engaging and informative social learning experience. The main challenge has been to design inclusive and accessible opportunities that are interesting and useful for a broad global audience on FutureLearn. I tried to develop a knowledge springboard for learners to recognise and identify the latest evidence, and to deliver a scaffold for them to carry out sustainable changes to an essential human behaviour – eating. I also endeavoured to create a culturally appropriate as well as open content that encourages learners to reflect on potentially sensitive content around mental health with hope and positivity. Our vision at the Food & Mood Centre is a world in which nutrition is recognised as fundamental to mental and brain health. FutureLearn provided us with an essential platform to translate the current evidence on the topic, disseminating our research and knowledge to reach a global audience, and I look forward to more learnings from facilitating the course over the coming weeks.”

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