Are you an educator, parent or health worker who is responsible for someone on the autism spectrum?
Do you need help in understanding this condition, so you can provide better support?
At Torrens, we’re passionate about understanding autism and learning differences in education. We’re the first university in Australia to introduce a raft of courses on learning differences, autism, and mental health – using our pioneering ‘Person First’ approach. We want to support teachers, carers and the community in responding to these contemporary challenges.
For this reason, we’ve developed a free five-week online ‘The Voices of Autism’ MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). All you need to do is enrol on our website before the 30th of April.
‘So, what is MOOC? MOOC stands for ‘Massive Open Online Course.’ It’s essentially an online form of course delivery that’s about accessible education. It’s free, online and open to anyone, no matter what your education background.
Emma Donaldson is a lecturer at Torrens University Australia in Teacher Education. Her areas of expertise are in special education, innovation, and change in schools and co-design with lived experience. She’s also the co-creator of the MOOC content and learning experience, and she’s one of the key developers of this course. Here’s what she has to say about why Torrens decided to create the free Voices of Autism MOOC.
“The Torrens Voices of Autism MOOC is an altruistic free, online course for anyone interested to learn more about the needs of a person and their family with autism. The education team has created this course to raise awareness of an often misunderstood condition. Our aim is to develop the general population knowledge and understanding to see autism through a positive, contemporary lens.”
The Voices of Autism MOOC begins on April 30 and runs for five weeks
The workload is about 2-3 hours per week and all participants will receive a certificate upon completion. Unlike many other courses on autism, the Voices of Autism MOOK uses Torren’s groundbreaking person first approach.
“We are changing the way Autism is seen by using a person first approach. That is, we put ourselves in the shoes of the person with autism and their family to gain a deeper insight into the day to day lived experience. We understand that it is important and necessary to learn from the autism community, rather than a theoretical and academic perspective. Co-design means that the autism community has contributed to the actual content, so we can better understand their needs in terms of support. The course covers the subjects of Person First in Autism, Education, Employment and Journey to Independence. Our course also uses a design thinking framework to develop problem-solving skills for practical outcomes.”
Yes, this university-level course is free and open for absolutely anyone to apply!
There are no pre-requisites, and it doesn’t matter one bit who you are or where you’re from. As it’s completely online, you can do it from literally anywhere in the world. Who can benefit from this course?
“People with autism, parents, grandparents, teachers, principals, allied health professionals, tertiary educators, teacher education students, or community members with an interest in autism. These are the people that will be participating in the MOOC, learning together, building on their own knowledge and finding new ways to support each other and autism understanding in the wider community.
Participants will develop problem-solving skills through scenarios developed with the autism community. The insights and skills gained from the MOOC can be applied to every workplace, school or community.” – Emma Donaldson