FSU launches massive open online course on domestic violence

Florida State University has launched its first free massive open online course (MOOC) with the goal of educating social service professionals and the public on the dynamics of domestic violence.

The university’s Institute for Family Violence Studies (IFVS), College of Social Work, College of Communication and Information and Office of Distance Learning (ODL) collaborated on the project. ODL provided funding for the course.

The MOOC — Understanding Domestic Violence as a Social Service Professional — examines the public health issue of domestic violence. More than one in three women experience domestic violence in their lifetimes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The National Domestic Violence Hotline receives 14 calls per minute.
Occurring across gender, racial, ethnic and socioeconomic lines, domestic violence can have lifelong negative consequences for all victims, including children in the home. Florida State developed the MOOC to educate the community about the dynamics and effects of domestic violence and to provide victim resources for social service professionals and the public.

“We are extremely pleased to be a part of the Understanding Domestic Violence MOOC,” said Susann Rudasill, director of ODL. “This type of course is a first for Florida State and demonstrates the university’s dedication to providing exceptional online education to the public, in particular by addressing such an important social issue.”

The MOOC is free and open to the public. The eight-module course uses Blackboard’s Open Education platform and provides a graphic-rich environment, videos, interactive training elements, online resources and a certificate of training upon completion.

Clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists and mental health counselors in Florida who complete the course can earn continuing education credits. Professionals in other states can submit the training certificate to their own accrediting entities.

“I am proud that Florida State can offer community education on such a critical and timely topic,” said Karen Oehme, director of IFVS. “By exposing the myths surrounding domestic violence and describing the dynamics and patterns of this issue, the course will empower social service professionals to give victims the support they need.”

Jim Clark, dean of the College of Social Work, agreed.

“The resources presented in this MOOC will help social service providers better understand the workings of domestic violence,” he said. “The course will deliver the essentials of what professionals need to serve and protect victims.”

Users can create a free account to access the MOOC at https://openeducation.blackboard.com/mooc-catalog/courseDetails/view?course_id=_747_1