Conversations about End of Life Care

David Eddy
Sheffield Hallam University
Innovative Deployment of Technologies


Developed and delivered in partnership with St Luke's Hospice, Sheffield and PebblePad, the Conversations about End of Life Care SHOOC (Sheffield Hallam Open Online Course) was designed to focus upon experience of end of life conversations and how to further develop key skills. This was a follow up to the Death Café we hosted earlier in the year, in support of Dying Matters Week.

What are the Aims?

The aim of the Conversations about End of Life Care SHOOC (CELC SHOOC) was to provide participants with an educational opportunity to engage in conversations and discussion about death, dying and preparing for end of life. The CELC SHOOC was developed to connect a global community of health professionals, end of life specialists, patients, carers, students, educators and members of the public to talk about and share experience and practice in having these difficult conversations.

The CELC SHOOC provided the opportunity to learn more about the process of grief and how this manifests itself in all types of loss, not just death.

Course content, information, resources and evidence of engagement were made available as open educational resources for participants to take away, re-use, recycle and mash up.

Providing integrated reward and recognition pathways including open (digital) badges to evidence participation for continuing professional development (CPD) and a route into academic credit through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) mapped to a module Collaborative Working in Supportive & Palliative Care.

Who was/is involved?

Academic staff from Radiotherapy, Oncology & Supportive Care subject group, plus other university Faculties and Departments; St Luke's Hospice staff, students, service users and PebblePad. 1372 participants from 33 countries.

What has changed/will change?

The CELC SHOOC provided a vehicle for participants to reflect upon personal experiences, articulate and share these with others and engage in conversations about end of life care in an open and supportive online environment.

Feedback from participants clearly demonstrated an enhanced awareness of the issues and articulated impact in terms of developing skills and approaches to manage these challenging conversations going forwards.

"The content was excellent. I feel it has really enhanced my outlook and communication skills in this area."

From practitioner feedback it became clear that this learning experience had encouraged them to think about things differently and had modified their practice as a result.

“You would not believe how quickly the course material has impacted my day to day practice, with an increase in my palliative advanced prostate cancer patients in the last two months. Thank you for the opportunity to attend this online education.”

What lessons have we learnt?

It is possible to develop and foster or an online community of key stakeholders to participate in learning conversations, sharing practice, collaborating and build their confidence in utilising the power of the internet to connect and engage with others. This was a first experience of online learning for over half of the participants and the deployment of our interactive Access All Areas resource to allow participants to test their devices was a really useful feature.

This course emphasised the significant benefits associated with partnership working to harness the complimentary skills of each party to produce a flexible, relevant, quality educational experience for the target audience.

Contact details

David Eddy
E mail:
Twitter: @sonofedd

Links to further information and resources

Conversations about End of Life Care - Evaluation Report (Public)

St Luke's Hospice, Sheffield