THE USED OF MASSIVE ON-LINE OPEN COURSES (MOOC) IN PHYSICS, AS A LEVELLING TOOL FOR SCIENCE STUDENTS AT UNIVERSITY
Year after year, the professors from the Applied Physics Department of the Universitat Politècnica de València (U.P.V.), have realised the great difficulties that some of the students have come across whilst pursuing different subjects, mainly due to the lack of maturity as regard concepts of physics given that many of them did not study the subject of physics at high school. In most of the degree courses studied at the U.P.V. it is necessary to have a good base of knowledge in physics in order to be able to successfully study the different subjects and those very students also miss having a bibliography and educational resources which would make their learning process easier.
A great deal of energy has been invested at the U.P.V. to offer future university students who are studying any type of scientific degree course a very potent tool which provides them with all they need to start their university studies without them lacking in knowledge of the magnitudes and principles of physics.
It is a course that students can pursue at home with examples that are familiar to them and fundamentally based on sports. The contents of the course are developed in three fundamental thematic blocks: 1) Mechanics, 2) Oscillations and waves and 3) Electromagnetism. During the course the idea will be to establish the bases of knowledge that make up the prerequisites of physics necessary to successfully deal with the degree courses in science. With the aim of finding the maximum level of diffusion among those who may be interested, as well as maximizing the effectiveness when the professors carry out and impart those courses, a decision was made to publish the course in MOOC format, in other words, as a Massive On-line Open Course. This is a trend which has recently emerged from the most potent universities in the world, based on the organisation of learning using a series of available technological tools in a coordinated way such as: generation of contents in video format, alternating questions to control learning, exams, support forums, etc. The U.P.V. has developed technology and has extensive experience in creating quality education content, enabling it to achieve a high success rate in this type of initiative.
In this paper, there are visible results of this initial experience in the field of physics at University level as regards the degree of acceptance by students as well as the type of students who have successfully made the most of this tool. Furthermore, other items related to the course that are now underway have also been revealed.