MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are open, distance learning courses, designed for a large number of students. MOOCs are realized on different platforms COURS- ERA started by Stanford University, EdX by Yale university - all sharing an ad hoc platform such as to receive up to 100 000 connections, to provide free and easy ac- cess to video, test, exams, and other sources of interactions among the students and the teachers. La Sapienza has been taking part in the MOOC challenge since 2013, offer- ing the Course “The world view of Relativity and Quantum Mechanic” the ﬁrst MOOC course offered in Italian - with Italian subititles; next year the course will be offered with subtitles also in English, Spanish and Chinese.
The course, at the level of high-school students, was attended by nearly 6 000 students, 53% not from Italy The course has been followed by different typology of students:
�from one 10 years old young person with severe learning difﬁculties to whom the course had been recommended as therapy, to full classes of high school students.
�high School teachers
�University students from non-scientiﬁc Faculties (Philosophy)
�Former university students
�Professionals of others disciplines scientiﬁc or not (Engineering, Informatics, Medicine, Psychology, Music).
Among the 6 000 students beginning the course we had 40% students ending the course. It is a very high value compared with the average of 10% for such a type of teaching. We had strong interactions with the students, with more than 850 e-mails exchanged between the teacher and the students, a blog created by the students, a list of alternative tests to deepen the knowledge or just to clarify some points. This turned the course from simple knowledge containers and providers into real collaborative learning envi- ronments. The experiment will continue offering courses to help the “bridge” from high school to university, for the technical faculty, offering “Precalculus” free courses.