Politecnico di Milano is the first Italian university to develop its own MOOC portal on the basis of the platform used by edX, worldwide leader initiative promoted by MIT and Harvard. POK (Polimi Open Knowledge) has its own unique strategy: not as a substitute to traditional education but as a support, by facilitating, or actually “bridging”, the transition from high school to university, from bachelor to master degree, from university to the work environment (MOOCs to bridge the gaps).
The courses are based on high quality videos both on the technical and on the design high quality (chrome-key, glass board, zenithal video recording, many practical demonstrations with objects, etc.), with adjustable speed and side text which lights up simultaneously as the instructor is talking. These videos are supplemented by exercises, quiz, forum to share ideas with peers, etc.
Courses are not just for students and graduates from Politecnico di Milano, but they are free and open to everyone. On June 3rd the first three courses went online, while three additional ones are under development:
1) Courses to support the transition between high school and university, to allow students to consolidate the necessary competences to face their first year of college in the best possible way:
• “Introduction to College Maths: Pre-Calculus” (G.Magli) – available online
• “Introduction to experimental Physics: mechanics, thermodynamics” (M.Zani) – available online
• “Introduction to experimental Physics: electromagnetism, optics, modern Physics” (M.Zani) – online in September 2014
2) Courses to support the transition between bachelor and master degree, for students coming from different universities, or different curricular paths:
• “Introduction to financial and management accounting” (D.Agostino) – online in November 2014
3) Courses to support the passage to the work environment with its primary aim to develop transversal competences:
• “Conflict Management” (I.Hollweck) – available online
• “Change Management” (I.Hallweck) – online in October 2014
A curious fact: the registration number to the platform only by online word of mouth reached in one month more than 6000 users from 60 different countries, in all five continents.