In a blog located on The Chronicle for Higher Education, Robert Talbert has been documenting his experiences with flipping his Calculus 1 class. After a somewhat rough start becoming accustomed to the new style of teacher for the class, he has stumbled upon a rather startling take away from this “audacious project.”
By far the biggest difficulty the students in the course have had so far has not been with mathematical content or even with the idea of flipped instruction – it’s with time and task management.
Students aren’t writing down the tasks and their deadlines for the course, they are attempting to simply remember what it is they need to do. This leads to students misremembering due dates, or forgetting assignments entirely.
In an attempt to help, Dr. Talbert has discussed how the students need to set up a schedule and get things done without procrastinating. He has even had talks with some students on how they can set up a calendar with due dates, something they had never done before. Which has lead Dr. Talbert to believe that a good co-requisite for a flipped classroom is a mini-workshop, to train students on how to schedule and manage projects and tasks.
This is why Dr. Talbert feels that the flipped classroom is an audacious project; it rejects the idea that procrastination in college is fun, and that you can just get by in the nick of time. Instead the flipped classroom promotes staying on top of things and getting things done, which is a form of self-regulated learning, something students have to master at some point.
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has put their first-year MBA courses on the online learning platform Coursera for free. This new system will potentially save prospective students upwards of $200,000 on tuition and other related expenses, as well as two years worth of time needed to spend at Wharton.
Though some may be skeptical about the quality of these courses, and some of those worries may be true due to the fact that the free courses will not provide the full Wharton on-campus experience (internship, career services, alumni network, etc.), Wharton has stated that the courses themselves are direct duplicates of the actual on-campus courses. This means that those who attend these MOOCs are studying genuine first-year MBA coursework from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
ECAR’s recent report on e-learning investigates the challenges and concerns of e-learning in higher education, the important factors to consider when selecting technologies to use in e-learning situations and scenarios, how accreditors view and approach e-learning, and the steps higher education institutions can take to make progress in their e-learning goals.
Steve Kolowich recently wrote an article for The Chronicle of Higher Education discussing the declining interest and appeal for MOOCs (Massive open online courses) in California.
There are many reasons as to why this is occurring to MOOCs, a once promising solution for the accessibility and democratization of higher education that garnered an immense amount of attention and publicity.
Much of it has to do with the actual numbers and results that have shown up publicly. Those numbers show some underwhelming results and rather low success and retention rates.
Another reason has to do with the fact that many universities who allowed students to gain academic credit by completing MOOCs are now starting to implement their own internal online courses and find no reason to utilize MOOCs anymore.