According to an article by the Chronicle of Higher Education, MOOCs have the potential to transform the way instructors’ handle their classroom by turning a traditional lecture based classroom into a ‘flipped classroom.’ Lectures oftentimes “masks a lot of disinterests” amongst students, causing only those interested in the subject to succeed.
In a flipped classroom, students typically watch video lectures provided by MOOCs as homework then save interactive discussions and projects for the classroom. Doing this provides students more time to communicate with their instructor in rich conversations. It also causes the instructor to act more as a guide working with students rather than working for students.
The biggest concern about integrating MOOCs into a classroom is instructor control. In traditional classrooms, instructors get total control of the classroom whether its material use, presentation, or assessment. When instructors switch to a flipped classroom, they need to work their discussions, projects, etc. around the MOOC lecture they have students watch.
It’s a large risk for instructors to make the switch, especially if they have insecurities. But with instructors like Douglas Fisher, who was mentioned in the article, making the switch was necessary in order to take the next step in higher education.