Devavrat R12 months ago
There's a reason why MOOCs are called a 'revolution'. They provide everyone (with computer & internet) a free access to high-quality educational content and to the global community that forms around it. This is especially helpful for self-directed and lifelong learners and to students with inadequate educational resources. Its true that simply copying the features of a traditional lecture and putting it on a site isn't in itself revolutionary- but don't forget the boost this gives in evolving pedagogy:
1) Scalability: Thousands of students are taking the courses at the same time and millions can do so too.
2) Evaluation methods: While objective questions can be easily auto-graded, MOOCs are boosting the developments in evaluating coding exercises, electronic lab simulations and peer evaluation modules for qualitative content like essays and art projects.
3) 'nonsensical ideas like the "flipped classroom"'- Nonsensical, really? Students watch recorded lectures in their free time at their own pace (with full control of speeding up, rewinding, revisiting selected parts). Several doubts can be cleared by watching it 'once more'. This provides a much better learning experience than a classroom lecture where you can't slow down or rewind a teacher- how can you personalize the same lecture differently for the 60 students in a classroom? So, the students come to classroom with a better understanding of what was taught in the lecture, and class time is now devoted to solving exercises, often in groups. Have you read Salman Khan's One World School House?
4) Huge variety of courses offered: see Coursera course list
5) Learning by doing: Udacity's courses are interactive- short videos interspersed with quizzes and exercises keeps the learner involved and alert. Similarly, its fun to learn at sites like Codecademy, Duolingo, Learnstreet, Code School.
The main point, however, is that the learners need not restrict themselves to what is offered by these MOOCs and online learning sites, but to create their own curriculum by combining these 'units' of learning and add to them their own goals of creating projects in solo or in collaborations with other students.
I was never so happy while studying in the college. I dropped out and began self-directed learning- http://www.ztcollege.com/profiles/devavrat