MOOC – Massive Open Online Course… and they do mean massive! I could not believe the size of some of the courses. But if only about 4% of students complete the course how can they be considered successful? I can see how they would appeal to self-regulated learners, adults and college level students. I can see how the cost efficiency would appeal to institutions. The ability to interact with students from all over the world and top instructors would also be enticing. But the social aspect that must be missing from these courses would make them disastrous for high school learners. Younger learners and indeed even older learners need and want more teacher – student interaction.
My module could not be offered as a MOOC. It requires face to face interactions for laboratory experiments and difficult conceptual concepts…. and well just “fun with science”! I like many of the online teaching methods we have been exposed to in this class, and I can see using or adapting many of them to my blended/flipped classroom. I cannot see a use at all for a MOOC at the high school level. The idea that students can participate as much or as little as they want, would not work with high school students…. many would simply not participate and then would probably still be surprised when they failed the class. Younger students need to be held accountable on a daily basis. Student at the high school level still need that all important teacher feedback to be motivated.
I do incorporate some of the components of a MOOC in my flipped class. The video lectures that I make and publish on my personal YouTube channel have been watched by my own students, but also by hundreds of other students that I will never meet.