I’m not a fan of the flipped classroom phenomenon. People often think this means I endorse lecture-based, didactic pedagogy, which could not be further from the truth. I see the flipped classroom as addressing a symptom of education struggle rather than a cause. Gary Stager puts it better than I ever could; to add to his words, flipping the classroom only rearranges the existing problems in higher education, believing things will work out if we feng shui the existing classroom methodology.
What is interesting about USA Today’s media foray into the flipped classroom through a recent article questioning the model’s impact is how its efforts to present “both sides” of the argument show fallacies on both sides of the model and its presentation. The article addresses preliminary flipped classroom research via Harvey Mudd College (funded in part by an NSF grant) that shows a lack of significant change in student attitudes or scores when in a flipped environment versus a traditional one. The article does not link to the research, so the only content to drive this viewpoint is through quotation. And there is a red flag quote from researcher Nancy Lape: Continue reading →
I’m still trying to wrap my head around connectivism, the learning theory developed by George Siemens and Stephen Downes that in a lot of ways led to the growth of distance education and the development of MOOCs. At its heart, connectivism is about where content/knowledge/learned stuff exists, and posits that in an interconnected, technologically-robust world, it is as much about how to access the learning opportunity as anything, but inherent to such a model is the notion that technology has systemically changed not only the way knowledge operates, but also the brain itself. Continue reading →
George Siemens starts a June 2012 blog post by celebrating the advancement of massively open online courses via platforms such as Coursera and EdX (noticeably absent from his praise is Udacity) as methods of providing excellence in education on a global level (an effort that is written about in great detail throughout popular lit, but not so much in research). The purpose of the blog, however, is to note the theoretical and pedagogical differences between MOOCs and Coursera/EdX MOOCs (and he notes that he has chosen to signify the larger model as the “other”). What about similarities?
There are many points of overlap, obviously, as both our MOOCs and the Coursera/EDx MOOCs taken (sic) advantage of distributed networks to reflect changing educational practice.