A Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is a free online course intended for a large number of participants, who could come from diverse cultural backgrounds and different geographical areas. While being university-level courses, MOOCs are deliberately aimed at reaching a wider and more widespread audience. They make use of different tools to get students engaged, such as video- lectures, interactive activities and social media.
They represent an unprecedented opportunity for both students and professors, and to society as a whole. Students can take courses from professors from all around the world, at their own pace and completely for free. With classes of virtually thousands of students, professors and teachers could improve their didactical approach using digital tools, such as data analysis or learning from teaching. MOOCs can bring higher education virtually to everyone and everywhere, improving people’s lives and bringing a positive effect on local communities.
In order to improve its presence at international level, the University of Padova has decided to join the MOOC world and to produce some courses held in English, as part of a new strategy on education and distance learning where innovative pedagogical techniques are needed. Coordinator of this project is Luigi Castelli, delegate of the rector for distance learning, and the technical and organisational support comes from the Multimedia and E-Learning Centre of the University (CMELA).
Precorso di Calcolo (Pre-calculus)
It aims to provide students from High Schools a great tool to revise their maths knowledge, in order to apply for university technical and scientific courses. To help students to get the most out of it, all the materials (video lessons, quizzes and exercises) will be released at once. In this way, students can choose the subject on which they need to focus their study efforts, and they can create thier own study path.