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Winners of prestigious prize for Autism and Mental Health course

Curtin University’s outstanding Autism and Mental Health course has won the prestigious 2023 edX Prize for Exceptional Contributions in Online Teaching and Learning at the edX Global Forum in Washington, D.C. this week.

Autism and Mental Health is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) which helps empower autistic people, and their support networks, to better understand the impact that autism may have on their emotions and mental health.

Curtin Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne commended the Autism and Mental Health team on their outstanding achievement and said the global recognition for their mindfully designed, learner-centred course was well deserved.

“The Autism and Mental Health MOOC is a wonderful example of Curtin’s continued commitment to delivering high-quality, accessible opportunities for learners everywhere,” Professor Hayne said.

“My congratulations to Faculty of Health Sciences staff Dr Ben Milbourn and Professor Sonya Girdler, who in collaboration with Dr Wenn Lawson and Katherine Browne, have worked tirelessly on developing and delivering this valuable course.

“I would also like to acknowledge the contribution of the CurtinX team members from our Learning Innovation and Teaching Excellence Centre who worked on this project – Nicole David, Belinda Lux, Brendan Ameduri, Blake Treharne and Patrice Williams.”

edX founder and 2Us Chief Platform Officer, Anant Agarwal congratulated the winners on their outstanding contribution.

“The Curtin team has truly exemplified the spirit of innovation and dedication in education. This remarkable achievement underscores the power of online learning to transform lives and create a more inclusive world,” Professor Agarwal said.

Research suggests that mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression are more prevalent in people with autism compared to the general population. The Autism and Mental Health course assists participants to identify potential risk factors for autistic burnout and learn strategies to improve mental fitness and overall wellbeing.

Launched in May this year, the course is self-paced and utilises a broad range of engaging resources including interactive activities to monitor mental health, quizzes, discussion prompts, a learning style preference questionnaire, and strategies to help promote good mental health.

The course content also includes videos of autistic individuals sharing their personal experiences and strategies in relation to mental health, allowing learners to access multiple perspectives and insights about autism and mental health from people with direct, lived experience. The edX Prize is an annual award that recognises educators who have demonstrated a commitment to the open and online education community and have taught courses and programs that continue to inspire and engage edX learners everywhere.

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