In 2012 while I was studying in UCONN Health Center, I was asked to record a 50 min video which would be part of a class Flipped Classroom in Oral Microbiology. My knowledge about Flipped Classrooms or MOOCS in general was null at that time and I was very reluctant on leaving a class in video that will remain for free access to students taking that course. I was worried about my material of course.
But it is not until I started ONL171, where I have learned how truly amazing are all these new teaching opportunities and capabilities we have in the digital era. I am very grateful about this. To get to know facts such as that the first massive MOOC was done in 2011 when a professor in Stanford University uploaded a MOOC in Artificial Intelligence and got 150k participants from 109 countries! Since then digital courses have just grown exponentially.
After having experienced myself and researched on MOOCS, I agree with many promoters of MOOCS that the main advantages are based on interactivity. The possibility to interact with other students that are perhaps at your same level of enthusiasm to research topics in a specific subject and that will promote your research in the topic. The it is also the possibility of using webcams and see the teacher or other members of your classroom. Video conferences are providing great opportunities to break with the barrier of distance by face to face conversations such as in platforms like Adobe Connect, Google Hangouts, etc. Expanding the possibility to add unlimited number of participants and share with people around the world is simply amazing.
From my almost naïve experience with Flipped Classrooms back in 2012, I have been investigating about this. I must say that it is impressive how students may have the possibility to see the class at home and do more interactive learning physically in the school. I am no longer reluctant to this and I want to apply this in undergraduate education! I really think this is the next step in education as we teacher would be able to monitor the individual progress of students and what topics they struggle more with.
However, one of the main concerns regarding MOOCs is the legal aspects behind sharing copyright material. I understand that the research libraries have worked hard in order to confound and establish ways to avoid legal problems implied in sharing copyright material. The pressure of online learning has triggered that the old-fashioned physical library settings needed to get digital and ready to provide researchers from all over the globe access to educational material without infringing copyright laws.
In summary, I must say that after my own experience and initial reluctance, I have dramatically changed my view on MOOCs. I am extremely positive now that traditional classrooms are suddenly going to be changed to digital. If we get the opportunity to experience the advantages that online teaching brings to our teaching experiences, our reluctances and insecurities will be easily overcome.