CONTRIBUTING TO THE OCW INITIATIVE: IMPLEMENTATION OF A COURSE ON ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM
The OpenCourseWare (OCW) is an initiative to offer educational resources freely available online. It was launched in 2001 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). During the last decade, this movement has spread to more than 200 universities and institutions, offering open access to a large amount of course materials for teachers, students, and self-learners around the world.
In 2007 the University of Cantabria (UC) (Spain) joined this initiative (http://ocw.unican.es) and became a member of the OpenCourseWare consortium (http://www.ocwconsortium.org). Since then, the number of the open educational materials has progressively increased and nowadays it offers over 150 courses on science and humanities, contributing to create educational opportunities to anyone and anywhere.
In this work, we describe the implementation of a course on Electricity and Magnetism on the UC OpenCourseWare site (http://ocw.unican.es/ensenanzas-tecnicas/electricidad-y-magnetismo). The material developed is intended for a first course on Electricity and Magnetism in a Physics or Engineering degree. The goal of this course is to openly share high-quality material (lecture notes, exercises, learning guide…) to aid educators and students. The course presents a self-guided format that can be accessed at any time. It can be especially helpful for Spanish and Latin American students. The material created has been written in a direct and systematic way, highlighting key concepts and avoiding complex demonstrations. The lecture notes include over 250 figures and 100 solved problems. These problems have been meticulously solved, with detailed step-by-step explanations, to overcome the comprehension difficulties. The final objective of this course is to present electromagnetism in a clear and interesting manner and to become a useful resource for self-instruction.