Just like Bono, we believe on this blog that technologies can help the world be a better place. Focusing on education is long-term planning for raising new generations of deciders. But it demands constant updating to the technologies that emerge and gain in popularity among students and teachers. Below are some of the pointers to where education is going in 2013.
FLIPPING | In the past two years, we’ve reported a few times on the ‘inverted or flipped classroom‘, which consists in having students watch lectures at home and solve problems or exercises during class. “If they’re going to have their iPods all the time, might as well put a lecture on it,” says High school Chemistry teacher Jennifer Goodnight in an interview for the US National Public Radio. The flipped classroom movement has taken off quite successfully, as it seems to “make helping students easier for everyone“— for the most part because shifting lectures outside class turns class time into help sessions.
At universities, Peer Instruction seems to be a suitable choice to flip classrooms. Julie Schell from the Peer Instruction Network just released a Quick Start Guide to Flipping your Classroom. You can also download the guide as a PDF. See illustration below for a handy visual rendering of the student and teacher roles in a classroom which has been flipped using peer instruction.
CLICKING | Of course Peer Instruction relies on effective ConcepTests or clicker questions. Stephanie Chasteen from the Science Education Initiative (SEI) in Boulder just shared again the extensive collection of clicker-related resources available on their website. Clicker questions may be readily available for you if you teach in a discipline that’s also in their course archive. For other clicker question collections you may want to check this list, also on the SEI site.
MOOCing | Massive Open Online Courses have been a tsunami in higher education since their first inception about a year or two ago. Having Ivy League US universities start offering online courses for free was just a revolution, as attested by the >100,000 people that would register for a single course!
MOOCs are the ‘next big thing’, although their place in education is not all clear yet. Will they destroy or merely supplement the traditional university system as we know it? Although it’s true that MOOCs right now are a wake-up call for most colleges in North America, what will their impact be on universities across the globe? Will universities flounder as MOOCs will be rising everywhere? Maybe some universities or departments will disappear, but most likely not all. After all, not everything can be learned online. However, it’s to be expected that MOOCs will not just serve as advertisement for on-campus courses, as proposed by Randy Riddle at Duke University. The thousands of students who sign up for online courses at Stanford don’t all want to go there, nor do they care about MOOCs or on-campus programs offered by smaller colleges or universities.
In any case, now’s probably a good time to start getting involved in teaching online courses. Start small, and start locally. See for example how you could teach only a module of one of your existing courses completely online. We (blog co-author M.G. and I) have been doing just that for a module on “Digital Learning Design” which is part of a professional training currently restricted to new recruits at our Faculty. The experience has been quite positive, so we are now proudly continuing and expanding into 2013!
Whether you will be flipping, clicking, MOOCing, or doing it all at the same time, we’d like to wish you a happy and successful new year 2013!
Presented By: Online Colleges