Enhancing engineering learning through SPOC courses Articles uri icon

publication date

  • June 2016

start page

  • 15

end page

  • 20


  • 3


  • 23

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2327-2686


  • The aim of this article is to share the experience and knowledge acquired during the practice, preparation, and deployment of a SPOC (Small Private Online Courses) course as a backup for a university class. The SPOC course was used for the electronic and automation engineering degree and robotic and automatics master's degree at the University of Carlos III Madrid. During the 2014&-2015 school year, it was made available for students as an online course and secondary option for classes. The topic was computer vision, and the SPOC emphasized the use of the open-source library, OPENCV, providing theoretical and practical lessons with the digital resources available online. There were six professors involved in the teaching activities: three professors in theoretical lessons and three in practical lessons. Students were encouraged to follow the course and complete up to 80 percent in order to obtain an extra point among the points reserved for continual assessment. The results obtained were very successful with 90 percent of students covering the 80 percent required. Among those students, 95 percent finished the course. Students even encouraged the professors to publish topics in advance in order to prepare partial exams. The experience was used to evaluate the potential of modern technologies in an academic environment and as a basis for further massive open online courses that will be offered by the University of Carlos III Madrid.


  • spoc; engineering; higher education; university online courses