The new MindEd website is a free e-learning resource to help adults to identify and understand children and young people with mental health issues. It is aimed at everyone with a duty of care for children and young people, and already offers over 100 short e-learning sessions, with more to follow.
MindEd is completely free to use, with no registration required, although if you do sign up as a MindEd member (free) and complete several sessions, you can record your studying on your personal page and print it as a certificate for your learning record.
I tried five different Autism sessions from within MindEd’s curricula, ranging from introductory sessions aimed at a universal audience, through to a more specialised session. Each is between 20-30 minutes long, and is complete with learning objectives, interesting interactive tasks, case studies, short video clips with transcripts, and self-assessments that help you check what you have learnt. The sessions are colourful and attractive, and the references provided are up-to-date.
MindEd claims to be suitable for use on tablets, phones or computers, so I tried it on a contemporary Android smartphone, as well as a desktop computer. MindEd did not display well on the phone, and cannot be downloaded for offline use, so, for example, it might be difficult to use during commuting journeys.
Another characteristic to bear in mind is that there is no social dimension to MindEd – there are no student forums in which to debate the topics, which are a typical component of MOOCs such as Clinical Psychology of Children and Young People on Coursera or Foundations of Psychology on Open2Study. Perhaps MindEd is better thought of as an interactive reference library that you dip into when needed.
I am very impressed that this project has been created by a consortium of more than seven organisations, and can imagine the amount of work that it has taken. I’d encourage you to explore it – currently MindEd is available to anyone, wherever you are, although eventually users outside the UK may need to buy a licence to access the website. I’ll be very interested to hear your feedback and comments, as I am sure that I have only scratched the surface of this huge resource.