2021 CMSC Annual Meeting

Using a University Canvas Learning Management System to Increase Knowledge about MS: The Multiple Sclerosis Student Advocates Program As an Educational Intervention


Background: About 1 million adults live with MS in the US (National Multiple Sclerosis Society [NMSS], 2019), an autoimmune disease with no known cure and that impacts individuals differently across their lifespan. The body’s damaged, protective sheath nerve coverings result in a communication malfunction between the body and central nervous system. Common symptoms include numbness, fatigue, impaired coordination, muscle spasms, among others. COVID-19 has disrupted traditional in-person learning (Pokhrel & Chhetri, 2021). Educators have realigned in-person learning to self-paced online synchronous and asynchronous learning to promote accessibility. The free, 8-week pilot training, Multiple Sclerosis Students Advocate Program (MSSAP), will include 8 students across areas (e.g., social work, dance) to educate the University and local community about MS. Phase 1 included a MS Film Screening project which screened “When I Walk” (in person) and “When We Walk” (WebEx) documentary films by Jason DaSilva, a filmmaker who shares his lived MS experience, followed by a panel discussion (University, NMSS, persons living with MS). Objectives: Increase knowledge about MS/MS resources in a university and local setting via Canvas technology/ZOOM “popup” events. Methods: Phase 2 Training. This course was created in the University CANVAS Learning Management System; funded by UNC Charlotte Chancellor’s Diversity Challenge Fund. It includes 2 parts: (A) MSSAP on-line training and (B) free, 30 minute “MS Talks” via ZOOM “pop up” events where community members may “pop in” to ask questions about MS or learn about resources and to hear a short 5 minute presentation/creative product on a topic related to MS developed by each MSSAP. Part A: Using the flipped classroom approach, students participate in an online synchronous and asynchronous course across 10 modules based on the publicly available free, “Everything You Wanted to Know about MS but Were Afraid to Ask” series created by CMSC and Catamont Medical Education.1 The module videos are complemented by additional publicly available materials such as short videos, handouts, and web-based resources. Participants complete a post quiz learning assessment developed for each module quiz. It also includes 4 synchronous training sessions with MS experts. Part B: The 30-minute “MS Talks” ZOOM “pop up” events will be offered throughout June 2021. Results: MSSAP Program concludes June 30, 2021; results available August 15, 2021. Conclusions: This free virtual program educates lay persons about MS and available resources and delivers real-time “MS Talks” “PopUp”events to reach and support a wide variety of audiences during the COVID-19 epidemic. 1:Posted on CMSC website in reference to 10 module videos: ”Commercial Support Acknowledgment” posted on CMSC: “This activity is supported by educational grants received from Biogen, Celgene Corporation a Bristol Myers Squibb company, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals.” (CMSC)”