Free MOOC on Concussion at the University of Calgary


By Kathryn J. Schneider PT, PhD (@Kat_Schneider7) and Pierre Fremont MD, PhD, FCMF (@pfremo)

Concussions are commonly occurring injuries in sport today and an important public health problem. It is a type of brain injury that occurs following a trauma (either to the head or body) followed by the onset of symptoms and/or signs. The Concussion Recognition Tool 5 (CRT5) was developed to assist with recognition of concussion by all personnel involved in sport (i.e. parents, coaches, players, sport associations, etc). Literature supports the principle of “Recognize and Remove” when a concussion is suspected, re-evaluate, rest (for 24-48 hours), return to activities of daily living followed by a gradual return to sport and school strategy when the acute concussion-related symptoms have subsided. Return to sport should occur once the athlete/player has been completed the return to sport and school strategies and remained asymptomatic with no return symptoms or other clinical indications that they are not yet ready to return.

While awareness of concussions has increased substantially in the past 10 years, an ongoing challenge is the dissemination of the latest evidence-informed recommendations for concussion prevention, detection and management to all stakeholders involved in concussion. To address this challenge, in April of 2019, the University of Calgary in collaboration with the Universite Laval, launched a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) to disseminate the latest evidence-informed information on concussion (informed by the 5thInternational Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport, McCrory et al 2017 BJSM).

This course was adapted from a MOOC in concussion that was developed in French at the Universite Laval by Dr. Pierre Fremont and his team. A total of 39 contributors were engaged in the development of this course and included researchers in the area of concussion, health care professionals, sport associations, coaches, players and Parachute Canada. The course is meant for all stakeholders with an interest in concussion (parents, coaches, players, teachers, administrators, sport associations, policy makers, health care professionals, researchers) and included six modules on the following topics: introduction to concussion, prevention, detection, management, access to care and protocol development. Each module was the focus of one week of the course. There was also an ongoing interactive discussion forum that course participants could engage in and discuss topics with one another and the course instructors (K Schneider and P Fremont). A total of 8591 individuals participated in this course and 36% of individuals successfully completed the evaluation process and were eligible to receive a “Certificate of Achievement” for the course. The course will be updated prior to each iteration to ensure that the information that is disseminated in the course reflects the most recent evidence-informed recommendations.

Stay tuned! The next iteration of the course is scheduled to run in the winter of 2020. 

Cost: Free, non-credited
Duration: 7 Weeks/self-paced
Effort: 1.5 to 2 hours/week


This course was supported by the Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Faculty of Medicine, Universite Laval and the Integrated Concussion Research Program (ICRP), University of Calgary. 

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