Enhancing the Patient Care Pathway for Prostate Cancer

David Eddy
Sheffield Hallam University
Innovative Deployment of Technologies


The Enhancing Prostate Cancer Care MOOC (EPCC MOOC) was the first open, online course delivered by Sheffield Hallam University. Using PebblePad and the digital workbook feature we aimed to deliver a quality, personal and collaborative learning experience for a range of key stakeholders.

What are the Aims?

The aim of the EPCC MOOC was to provide an opportunity for all the stakeholders (Doctors, Health Care Professionals, Patients, Carers, Educators, Students etc.) in the Prostate Cancer Patient Pathway to explore, discuss and have conversations about some of the key issues and the ways in which prostate cancer care may be enhanced. Effectively crowdsourcing and sharing good practice from across the world, which resulted in recommendations from the global prostate cancer care community.

Evolving our philosophy and approach to online learning at scale, providing free, open access content through interactive digital workbooks, utilising a platform never previously used for this type of delivery (PebblePad).

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).

Who was/is involved?

Academic staff from Radiotherapy & Oncology and other university Faculties and Departments; Prostate Cancer UK - representatives, volunteers and Clinical Nurse Specialists; students, service users and PebblePad.

What has changed/will change?

The resources and discussions generated through the EPCC MOOC were of benefit not only to those who participated in the course, but also to the wider Prostate Cancer community.  A list of suggestions and recommendations for the enhancement of the Prostate Cancer Patient Pathway was generated through discussions and debates, informed by the activities and resources provided each week. These were shared with Prostate Cancer UK and embedded in participants' workbooks for future use.

Feedback from participants indicated changes, enhancements and developments in their practice:

"Thank you for all you done in putting this course together. It has changed the way in which I interact with my patients and I hope to make their transition from our cancer centre to the community easier."

“I am currently using every bit of my studies with SHU to transform the Prostate Cancer patient pathway in Ghana." This participant is currently working with the Ministry of Health to effect this change.

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 producing a useful output to help initiate service enhancement. This can be achieved even within a community which predominantly has no previous experience of online learning.

The benefits of partnership working with third party organisations and agencies is self-evident and far outweighs the potential complications in planning and delivery. The benefits of such activity for academic staff development are massive in terms of enhancing skills and confidence in the use of different pedagogical approaches, all of which now inform our undergraduate and postgraduate provision within the subject area.

We will enhance the accessibility of the delivery platform by utilising a new version which is fully HTML and compatible across all mobile devices.

Contact details

David Eddy
E mail: d.eddy@shu.ac.uk
Twitter: @sonofedd

Links to further information and resources

Enhancing Prostate Cancer Care – Evaluation Report (public)

Prostate Cancer UK