InsideAMX Tertiary

MOOCs, Flipped Classrooms in the news

If you read industry posts with any regularity you will see plenty of discussion on MOOCs and flipped classrooms. 

Flipped classroom – do they work? http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/10/22/flipped-classrooms-effectiveness/3148447/

Some background on a teacher’s experience with flipping a classroom – admittedly a year 12 situation but still relevant…. 

http://www.k-12techdecisions.com/article/5_tips_for_flipping_your_classroom_lessons_from_one_teachers_first_year   The question that springs to my mind after reading it was what impact is has on teaching space design or technology?  Very little I suggest.

And MOOCs are receiving some critical examination in the e-press

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116013/mooc-student-survey-who-enrolls-online-education

 http://www.educationnews.org/online-schools/the-downfall-of-online-education/ 

http://sdt.bz/content/article.aspx?ArticleID=67491&page=1

Sometimes reality seems to get buried in the hype surrounding ‘the next big thing’ (to steal a phrase from the last article).  In the rush to promote the new concept, there seems to be an attitude that existing teaching practices, facilities and technologies are doomed.  That the ‘new’ concepts replace the ‘old’.  For example collaborative spaces replace lecture theatres, that online learning replaces face-to-face teaching, that MOOCs replace traditional university courses – and so on.   

The reality is that all these things are complimentary, not mutually exclusive.  They can and do co-exist – and should not be seen as a threat.  The opposite in fact – new concepts should be seen as an enhancement to existing teaching practices.  But kept in perspective! 

Coincidentally, a few days after I’d written the two paragraphs above, the post below appeared in my in-box with perhaps a more balanced view of where MOOCs can fit into the big picture.  http://www.forbes.com/sites/darden/2014/01/09/more-not-or-fear-and-loathing-the-world-of-moocs/