I first heard about Avasus at the ICDE conference this year in Toronto. From the presentation, I learned that it was a not only a collection of open continuing professional health education modules for all of Brazil, but that it was also a very nice, powerful platform that tracked, issued legitimate certificates and provided a number of really nice user options that made for a really great user experience. Unlike MOOCs, many of the modules seem to be self guided but there are features that allow for some emergence of student community. There are also really helpful tracking features for the user which is a nice change from a big brother tracking paradigm that does little to benefit the user. (MOOC platforms could learn a lot from AVASUS, but the platform itself should be the subject of a whole other post. )
Because it’s tied to legitimate authentication for CPE reasons, it took me about 6 months to actually get into the site. But if you’re interested in open continuing professional health education at scale, it’s worth the effort. There are about 40 modules in there right now, and if my memory serves me correctly there will be more than a hundred in the next year or so.
I explored the module Uso de Plantas Medicinais e Fitoterápicos para Agentes Comunitários de Saúde / Use of Medicinal and Phytotherapeutic Plants for Community Health Agents out of interest but there’s a variety of modules that would likely be useful for adaption in other contexts. Most of them seemed to adopt a case scenario type of approach, using comics, videos, text, and student activities as part of the design.