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PACE as a teaching tool - Discuss PACE in "Design and Interpretation of Clinical Trials" free online course by Johns Hopkins University on Coursera

Discussion in 'Advocacy Projects and Campaigns' started by Clara, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. Clara

    Clara Established Member

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    Ron Davis said, “I would like to use it as a teaching tool, to have medical students read it and ask them, ‘How many things can you find wrong with this study?’”
    (https://www.statnews.com/2016/09/21/chronic-fatigue-syndrome-pace-trial/)

    This free online course on the Design and Interpretation of Clinical Trials by Johns Hopkins University starts on July 16 and you can enroll now and get access to the study materials.

    https://www.coursera.org/learn/clinical-trials

    The syllabus includes a week on Outcomes and Analysis, focusing on a key design issue - selecting the primary outcome. One of the discussion prompts is, "Tell us about outcomes in a clinical trial you know about."

    Another week is on Reporting Results. One of the discussion prompts is, "Your experience with incomplete trial reporting."

    There is a discussion forum where you can discuss with other students. Looking at the reviews, you can see that students include doctors, nurses, clinical trials coordinators, and people who work in public health. This could be an opportunity to use PACE as a teaching/learning tool among these professionals, in the course of which will also raise awareness of how it has impacted ME/CFS. There might be limited interaction with the course instructors and assistants.

    What do you all think? Does anyone have the energy and interest to participate?
     
  2. James Morris-Lent

    James Morris-Lent Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Having done several coursera courses I would caution that the amount of actual interaction is always none or very little. I suppose it wouldn't hurt if someone answered re: PACE for one of the prompts, but I wouldn't expect anybody to read it. :/
     
  3. Clara

    Clara Established Member

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    It might depend on the course. I have taken several Coursera courses from Stanford and other universities and there was good student interaction. The professors and teaching assistants answered questions and it was apparent that they were reading the forum even if they couldn't respond to everyone. Possibly it was better during the earlier years when Coursera was smaller.

    In any case, I will be there if energy allows. If there is low interaction, I will try to start an interesting discussion. If that doesn't work, I'll try to figure out how to do it better. My concern is that many people are much more knowledgeable about PACE methodology than I am, and leading discussions and bringing people in is the opposite of my forte.
     
  4. James Morris-Lent

    James Morris-Lent Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Yeah, I'm guessing some of the initial excitement and novelty has worn off. The ones I have done have been in the past year. They've all been all math/programming related so people are just interested in getting the answers to work! Maybe this topic will inspire more engagement.

    It's free so I don't mind signing up with you (plus it looks interesting), but I'm also not a PACE encyclopedia. (Although I have read the paper :rolleyes:)
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  5. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    I tried something similar on a couple of free courses run by Future learn, a UK based thing similar to Coursera. One was on IBS which was based entirely on the premise that IBS is psychosomatic and using therapy. No mention of diet, infection, SIBO or any other possible physical cause. I did my best to raise low FODMAP diets and question the quality of research but was largely ignored.

    I'll have a look at the Coursera course. I've done quite a few in the past but don't usually bother with the student discussion part.
     
  6. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    I've had a look. I don't think I'll do it. I looked through some of the comment from past students. It was commented that the lecturers didn't interact or answer questions, and from past experience the student discussion sections tend to be just people making comments but no interaction - just people making comments that probably very few people read or asking questions that don't get answered.
     
  7. Clara

    Clara Established Member

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    Okay, I'll be happy if one doctor, research scientist, or public health administrator reads it. :) My own read/reply ratio in general is probably well over 100/1, so I think that few replies doesn't necessarily mean that people aren't reading, recalling and using what they read some time in the future.

    Anyway, the course is interesting mainly to become better equipped to analyze and argue about clinical trials for any scenario.
     
  8. Sbag

    Sbag Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    The great thing is now we can actually say PACE is being used to teach people about bad trial design and implementation
     
  9. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    Sorry, @Clara, I wasn't saying don't do it, just that I'm not going to. I hope you find the course interesting and can influence some of the participants by telling them about PACE. I don't mean to put other people off doing it.
     
  10. Amw66

    Amw66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Just to let you know that when the JHP special PACE issue was published, i sent a link to the lecturer of the " statistics for science" module in the undergraduate course i am doing part time. She thanked me, did not realise that it still informed practice and uses it as an illustration of bias, poor ethics and poor design . She has a relative with ME.

    I have to admit, it is an excellent teaching tool .
     
  11. Clara

    Clara Established Member

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    Oh, nothing to apologize for. That is a good point to keep in mind when reading responses.

    I looked at the course discussion forum today and while there is only a little activity, it is one forum for all sessions of the course which start every month, so a thread in the General Discussion area could be seen and discussed by all future students indefinitely.
     
  12. Keela Too

    Keela Too Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I’ve done Coursera courses previously. So I’ve signed up on this one too.

    I’m writing my introduction now, there’s a thread there for that. See ya all in there.
     
  13. Keela Too

    Keela Too Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Course videos are interesting. Okay I admit it, I’m a nerd

    Also one of the organisers has a friend with ME. He was sympathetic.
     
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  14. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  15. Clara

    Clara Established Member

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    Excellent! This is a great idea for any university students taking courses on science research methods.
     
  16. Clara

    Clara Established Member

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    Great introduction post! I'm so glad someone who is a better writer than I am joined. :) I also want to know how bad studies can be removed from the literature. Participating in this course and putting PACE in front of some professors and instructors is just one of my ways of responding to those who claim PACE is considered excellent trial design by experts with decades of experience. (I think that's only because not many other experts besides themselves have looked at it.)

    I'm noting how both courses in which PACE and ME/CFS were shared have instructors and assistants who know someone with ME/CFS.
     
  17. Clara

    Clara Established Member

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    ahimsa, MEMarge, andypants and 5 others like this.
  18. Keela Too

    Keela Too Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I didn’t keep up either @Clara
    Such is life :angelic:
     
  19. MEMarge

    MEMarge Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Maybe I'll enroll next time round.
     

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