It’s a MOOC! It’s a Game! It’s Moocdemic!

Penn State is about to release its second run of MOOCdemic, a massive multiplayer simulation game run in concert with its MOOC Epidemics – the Dynamics of Infectious Diseases.

The course covers the basics of infectious diseases including their history, how they are spread, and how they can be controlled. The game is a location-based activity in which students use their computers and mobile devices to detect, spread, and control a fictional infectious disease, using social media to share information. Assistant professor and game developer Marcel Salathe commented in Directions Magazine: “The game allows players to experience a global disease outbreak in real time without being exposed to any real risk, other than game addiction.”

Moocdemic is another great example of how MOOCs and other new technologies are pushing the boundaries of traditional education and turning the world into one giant connected classroom.

The course and the game start Monday, September 29, so head over to Coursera and to the game page and sign up. Not only will these be a great deal of fun, but with the Ebola outbreak currently ravaging several countries in Western Africa, the knowledge you will gain in this course couldn’t be more timely.

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