March 5, 2020

Demystifying concussion: Free online course postponed to fall

Registration is still open for the second iteration of highly popular MOOC
Kathryn Schneider and patients
Kathryn Schneider, far left, with patients and physios in the clinic. Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

We all know someone who has had a concussion. In fact, one in five Canadians report a sport-related concussion in their lifetime and an estimated one in 10 youth sustains a sport-related concussion each year.

To learn how to prevent, identify and manage concussions, the University of Calgary and Université Laval have partnered to create a MOOC (massive open online course) with the goal of improving concussion prevention, detection and management. Dubbed Demystifying Concussion 101, a second iteration of this successful course is open for registration with the course running in the fall of 2020While it was originally set to run in April, it has been postponed until fall to free up online platforms due to the COVID-19 situation.

“Concussions are a serious public health concern with the ongoing challenge of dissemination of the latest evidence-informed recommendations for concussion prevention, detection and management to all stakeholders involved in concussion,” says Dr. Kathryn Schneider, PT, PhD, an associate professor and clinician scientist (physiotherapist) in the Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre in the kinesiology faculty.

This free online course demonstrates how to manage concussions and create a protocol that can be adapted to the different sports and settings.

Schneider is also a member of the Integrated Concussion Research Program and both the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute (ACRHI) at the Cumming School of Medicine.

Laval connection

This UCalgary course was adapted from Dr. Pierre Fremont, MD, PhD, and his team at Université Laval, which has offered a French MOOC on concussion five times since 2016. With his help, Schneider, an international leader on rehabilitation research in concussion in sport, led the initiative at the University of Calgary. There are 39 different contributors to the course from around the globe .

Each iteration of the MOOC includes information on the most recent, evidence-informed practices and instructors. The participants will learn from experts in their fields, including researchers, community partners, health-care professionals, policy-makers, athletes, and sport and recreation representatives.

Accessible to everyone

The public course is developed for parents, coaches, teachers, health-care professionals and those who have experienced a concussion in school and sport environments. Last year, 8,591 participants signed up for the University of Calgary’s MOOC.

No prerequisites are required; however, a certificate of achievement can be requested for a small fee for those who have completed the course and have a pass mark on the exams.

The Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary is ranked the No. 1 sport science school in North America and No. 7 globally. 

The Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre is one of 11 International Research Centres for the Prevention of Injury and Protection of Athlete Health supported by the International Olympic Committee.

Led by the Hotchkiss Brain InstituteBrain and Mental Health is one of six research strategies guiding the University of Calgary toward its Eyes High goals. The strategy provides a unifying direction for brain and mental health research at the university and positions researchers to unlock new discoveries and treatments for brain health in our community.