I called this one.

“Coursera, a leading ­provider of free, online education, is shifting its strategy to allow universities to use its courses for everyday teaching in place of conventional lectures.

The company’s co-founder, Daphne Koller, said Coursera was rebuilding its ­platform “from the ground up” to allow students to commence courses “on demand” and to give university ­instructors access to student data on progress and performance….

Coursera’s move is very significant for universities because it opens the way to large scale “flipped learning”, where online courses take the place of live lectures and students’ time with an instructor is instead spent discussing and going deeper into the material.”

– Tim Dodd, “Coursera sets sights on universities,” The Australian Financial Review, February 4, 2015.

“What bugs me the most about this newfound enthusiasm for the flipped classroom is the sheer superfluity of it all. If I can thank Hyman and Baptist for anything it’s for making it abundantly clear that the rise of MOOCs and the sudden fad for the flipped classroom are intimately related. To borrow some inflammatory language from Marc Bousquet, the second is a waste product of the first. If the MOOC providers are like meatpackers, then the flipped classroom is how they’re going to get us to eat their offal.”

– Me, “The flipped classroom as MOOC waste product,” [the old] More or Less Bunk, February 13, 2014.

Jonathan Rees

Professor of History, Colorado State University - Pueblo.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. JWR

    I think the thing that drives me insane about the flipped classroom hype is how unreflected it is, how shallow. Again and again, one hears the same two-byte argument: students can get content ahead of time, in order to go deeper in class. As if that isn’t always what is supposed to be happening. As if the fact that it doesn’t happen is solely due to 2000 years of pedagogical ignorance and lack of technology. As if making students watch videos isn’t going to crowd out reading (‘content’) that they are already supposed to be doing ahead of time. It’s as if we’re all doomed to a steady loop accidental conversation at the dry cleaners: “Hi Bob, what’s new?” “I’m getting my students to study content ahead of time so I can take them deeper in class. It’s totally new.” “Okay bye!” Only this superficial conversation is driving policy and is about massively reassigning money into IT fields and their power structures. Can I get an “aaarghhhh!”?

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