Steve in his post related to What the flip – on flip classroom says:
According to the Wired magazine article, ’flipped teaching is essentially a type of tutoring. The difference is that new digital tools enable teachers to coach large classes: one-on-one tutoring, scaled by the web.’ Oh yeah? Sounds like the old style distance education to me. What is not explained in Wired, is how on earth a tutor can conduct one-on-one tutorials (using any conceivable web tool yet created) to provide quality support for upwards of 160,000 students (this is the figure cited as the number of students enrolled on the 2011 Stanford University AI course run by Peter Norvig and Sebastian Thrun).
I have posted here
“For the flipped model, I have such experiences even in my University days, when I read most of the books, papers at home, and then joined in the discussions and activities in class. In other words, the class is like a workshop, where experiences are shared, and active participation, engagement and discussion is encouraged. Not all the classes were like that, and so there were lectures, workshops, tutorials etc. I did often try that myself too, in my early days of teaching, in various subjects. On some occasions, there were presentations for certain subjects, or in the case of “projects” units, the project is the hands on unit. There isn’t any need to lecture. All learning is centered around a project. The teacher would be there to support, encourage the ongoing development of project, and provide feedback in the formative and summative assessment. So, flipped model is not entirely new, at least for me. May be if the teaching method is based principally on the instruction, without hands on learning, or actual practice and reflection (or the authentic learning approach), as Stephen has kept on emphasising in a connectivist learning ecology, that is the problem.
I agree here with what Stephen says: “All very well, but there’s so much more to the world of Ed Tech than Sal Khan.” How about the various initiatives that have been launched in the past few years, especially the MOOCs? Why aren’t these (like CCKs – CCK12, CritLit, PLENK2010, Change11, LAK12, ds106) even mentioned in those posts? May be people have only been informed on some initiatives and aspects of online learning, but not all.”
For me, a combination of education and learning may be a better alternative solution, rather than flipping the pendulum from one end (teaching only, without any learning involvement or engagement) to another end (learning only without any support initially or understanding learning needs). Everyone learns differently, and there is no way of trying to fit everyone’s feet with the standardized shoes, though we could still continue to mass produce the shoes with the various sizes.
Steve suggests as a solution:
If we want higher quality learning experiences, we simply flip traditional roles. Flipping learning for me means teachers becoming learners and students becoming teachers. I have already elaborated on this in a previous blog post. If teachers assume the role of a learner, and accept that they are not the fonts of all knowledge, but are there to facilitate learning instead of instructing, positive change in education would happen. Similarly, if we ask students to become teachers, and we encourage them to independently create their own content, share and present their work – either in the classroom, or on the web – we place them in a position where they must take responsibility to learn and develop their understanding of their subject.
I shared many of the ideas with Steve, relating to inverting the roles of teachers and learners. Here in my previous post:
In summary, what is more important in MOOC is not just the theory, or the principles as suggested, but the actual projects and community or networks that are created, developed and worked on. This would take away the often ”known” ways of learning with a MOOC. That is the EMERGENT LEARNING both for the individuals and the networks. There may be some educators and learners who could feel it too hard to do it in a MOOC, and so instead of doing a whole Connectivism course, why not having it designed in parts, so participants would only choose what they need only?
If we are to ask participants to design courses or sub-networks (with events, workshops, seminars, presentation, activities), then those designs would most likely be refined by the participants, implemented and evaluated more successfully, as they are the master piece of their suggestions, and so learning is built into the design with continuous improvement and review.
There is also an urgent need in gaining a deeper understanding of: Managing uncertainty in social networks as contained in this reference, using social network analysis and learning analytics.
The most successful MOOC that I have witnessed so far seems to be based on the CCK and PLENK model, where structured and unstructured models are blended, and as individuals become active in the conversation and “cross fertilization” in the community of inquiries. This seems to also come at the intersection of community of practice, landscape of practice, social networks, where the knowledge web, social web, learning web are all important part of the online learning collaboration and cooperation.
I still think the emergent practice based on Cynefin framework would apply to MOOC, where complex situations have always been the most challenging ones for educators to facilitate and steer in the case of huge online course.
This will beg the rhetorical questions: Is MOOC always the most effective way in addressing complex learning situations? Is Openness at the heart of MOOC? How would the reality and ideal of MOOC be possibly leveraged under such a learning model?
Photo credit: wikipedia
Dave Cormier shared his views on success on MOOC:
MOOC would likely be more successful if the following conditions are satisfied:
1. The topic of interests offered in MOOC are aligned with those of the target audience. Such topics need to be “new”, “exciting”, “challenging to some extent” but not overwhelming for most of the participants. If the topics are related to simple, elementary concepts, then such MOOC may be conducted similar to the traditional online video classroom basis, like the Khan Academy, or what might have been adopted in the high school with a lecturer giving the talk.
Though chaos could be part of the MOOC at various stages of the course, especially during the introduction, a tempering or “intervention” based on curation of information, collaboration and learning clusters formation to share views, feelings, and learning would likely ensure that individual voices are heard, and feedback loop is used to continuously improve and develop the course, through connective networks.
2. The participants are coming from a diverse background (or even from global networks), and that openness, diversity, autonomy, and interactivity and connectivity are encouraged, supported and celebrated, not through a centralized system, but a decentralized network structure based on egalitarian principles. This would ensure a healthy growth within and amongst the networkers and networks, which collaborate and cooperate, rather than compete with each others.
3. The MOOC structure needs to be adaptive in nature, and may exhibit the complex adaptive system where the actors and system co-evolve as the course progresses. This means that a breakdown into mini-OOC may be more practical, especially if the interests of the participants are too diverse, leading to fragmentation of MOOC. Traditional, objective and learning outcomes based online course may need to be changed in order to adapt to a high in flux, highly complex and adaptive sort of MOOC where each participant is developing their own unique PLN and “MOOC” in mind. This alignment of online course to an emergent structure with MOOC will allow for a decrease in drop out amongst networkers, and an increase in understanding of the netagogy as proposed and problem and project based learning. It could also be based on lots of fun, as shared by Michael Wesch and his students, producing the artifacts (videos and wikis) under Michael Wesch’s guide on the side when learning in an online environment.
4. That there are open educational resources available and open for access, remix, reuse and repurpose for the creation or feedforwarding of artifacts to the networks, as shared by Stephen Downes.
5. The teaching, social and cognitive presence are all supported throughout the MOOC and beyond. These could be based on distance education pedagogy. It would best be based on a learning experience as discussed by Jenny Mackness where the process is open and community based – with an emergent landscape of practice as value proposition and value creation with communities of practice.
This social media and higher education provides a useful insight and models where social media could be considered and used.
Our current eduMOOC is moving towards the 5th week, and I am still reflecting on the design, development and implication of it on elearning.
Finally, may I put these into philosophical propositions?
1. When you don’t see any rigid structure in MOOC, that is good, as MOOC should be personalized, having adaptive and amorphous structures that are all customized to suit the learners, not just the educators needs.
2. When there seems to be a chaotic structure in place, that is good, because such structure would challenge even the most intelligent and talented educators, scholars, professors and learners to sort them out, so everyone has to rethink and reflect about what it means to learn in a chaotic Web and internet based learning environment. That is the reality that we are facing, in times of flux.
3. Where there are more and more problems emerging out of MOOC design, delivery and development, that is good, because this would give a chance for scholars, researchers, administrators, educators, and learners to change and adapt their teaching and learning, based on a shift in the pedagogy, paradigms. This would challenge each of them to re-think about the importance, significance and implications of online participation (with a participatory culture), collaboration and cooperation, as a network, as a cluster of educators, researchers, and learners throughout the global networks, as an institution, or a partnership of institutional networks. This would stimulate and promote stakeholders to research, to learn and to improve and innovate altogether, in order to tackle the challenges ahead of us and that of our next generation. That is the change and transformation needed to keep abreast of knowledge and learning in an ever changing world.
4. Are we living in an era of disruptive digital media based ecology? The challenge is huge, but the reward is even bigger. The more we know, the more we know that we don’t know. And that is learning as growth and development, both individually and as connective and collective wisdom.
This is the time to celebrate the successes and failures, through experimentation, and possible failures of MOOCs, where educators and learners could learn together. Without trials, we never learn.
I have learnt a lot with distance education (with solo learning only, without any peers, or even an instructor, based on a list of text book only, followed by a public examination). So, self-directed education, and self-regulated learning works for me. However, it may not work for others, especially those who are new to the virtual online digital world.
What will the solution lie?
It is not just about theory, it is about exploration, experimentation, learning in action, reflection, and immersion in the virtual world of networks, together with the real world of education and learning. Would it be possible to consider the various platform (MOOCs), and learn and reflect on the assumptions, the theory and practice, and apply them on a daily basis? Aren’t we all learning, and changing, and improving our performance all the time in the networks, and individually? If not, what would be your solution?