Background : Short-term experiences in global health (STEGH) are increasingly common in medical education, as they can provide learners with opportunities for service, learning, and sharing perspectives. Academic institutions need high-quality preparatory curricula and mentorship to prepare learners for potential challenges in ethics, cultural sensitivity, and personal safety; however, availability and quality of these are variable.
Objective : The objective of this study is to create and evaluate an open-access, interactive massive open online course (MOOC) that prepares learners to safely and effectively participate in STEGH, permits flexible and asynchronous learning, is free of charge, and provides a certificate upon successful completion.
Methods : Global health experts from 8 countries, 42 institutions, and 7 specialties collaborated to create The Practitioner’s Guide to Global Health (PGGH): the first course of this kind on the edX platform. Demographic data, pre- and posttests, and course evaluations were collected and analyzed.
Outcomes : Within its first year, PGGH enrolled 5935 learners from 163 countries. In a limited sample of 109 learners, mean posttest scores were significantly improved (p < 0.01). In the course’s second year, 213 sampled learners had significant improvement (p < 0.001).