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E. Salazar Guerrero, A. Arenas González, Y. Minami Koyama, L. Miranda Cordero

National Autonomous University of Mexico (MEXICO)
One of the products of the institutional program Project Support Program for the Innovation and Improvement of Teaching, (Programa de Apoyo a Proyectos de Innovación y Mejoramiento de la Enseñanza, PAPIME), called PE109415 Project “Application of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) and Collaborative Learning Methods for strengthening the learning of students of basic sciences” in the National Autonomous University of Mexico (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM) is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) we named “Arduino for beginners and electronics novices.” After almost four years working on PBL and Collaborative Learning in the Faculty of Engineering and with students that belong to the senior High School system of UNAM, we saw the need to approach a wider audience who could work with the Arduino board. The MOOC will help us teach them Arduino basics so that students can develop mechanisms using PBL.

In this paper, we present the MOOC we are creating, which belongs to the UNAM. The main purpose of this MOOC is to teach the students how to set up the Arduino board for the construction of prototypes and encourage them to design and make prototypes related to subjects of basic sciences using the Arduino board.

In order to help them learn how to program the Arduino board, the project provides the students with an extracurricular course, taught by students of higher semesters who collaborate in the project working on their Theses or doing Social Services. The MOOC offers some advantages; for instance, the extracurricular course could be substituted by this MOOC, and it would also be possible to train a larger group of students in the development of prototypes using the Arduino board.

This MOOC will be distributed by COURSERA-UNAM. Although we had instructional material intended for the face-to-face course, the implementation of the MOOC took more than a year because it was necessary to create new material due to some requirements established by COURSERA. The new material includes images, animations, instructional guides, videos and innovative ideas. Besides, it was necessary to design new, clear, simple and short dialogues and video explanations. One important characteristic was the language used in the explanations; we tried to avoid the use of technical terms since we pretend to hand out this course and make it available to the general public, including people with poor computing and programming skills.

Work has been arduous, but we consider that it will be very useful to our students and to those people interested in this course. This Arduino MOOC was implemented by a team of ten people who worked for over a year. The open course will be distributed in September and we will get our first results in December. By that time, we will be able to evaluate and decide if this technology is appropriate as a teaching tool to strengthen and complement the learning of our students in other subjects offered by the UNAM Faculty of Engineering.