Leveraging digital platforms to scale health care workforce development: The career 911 massive open online course

Melissa A. Simon*, Shaneah Taylor, Laura S. Tom

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Health care is the fastest growing occupational sector in the United States, but students from low-income and underrepresented minority (URM) backgrounds often lack mentorship and basic information about health care careers and pathways. Objectives: We developed the Career 911 massive open online course (MOOC) to help students from diverse backgrounds to explore and build career portfolios to enter health-related professions. Methods: We describe the evolution since 2014 of the Career 911 MOOC and lessons learned. Results/Lessons Learned: More than20,000 students have enrolled in Career 911. Career 911 has served as a learning resource for schools and health care pipeline programs. Key lessons learned include cultivating strategic partnerships andnetworks, using community engagement efforts to counter technology’s potential to exacerbate educational disparities, minimizing disruptions from changes to technology, and optimizing data for program evaluation. Conclusions: Lessons learned on community engagement to develop a MOOC, and anticipating technology-related challenges and program evaluation needs can guide future work to leverage MOOCs and other digital learning technologies for scaling health care workforce development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-130
Number of pages8
JournalProgress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action
Issue numberSpecial Issue 2019
StatePublished - 2019


  • Community-based participatory research
  • Education technology
  • Health disparities
  • Health professions
  • Massive open online course
  • Research training
  • Workforce development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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