The basic problem with the flipped classroom (and the MOOC with its reliance on video lectures), is that it continues the basic practice of the lecture hall, which presupposes compliant students following a single trajectory of instruction, which they are to then replicate in a way that can be assessed easily, that is, mechanically.
I am reminded here of Freire's critique of the "banking method" of education, to which he opposed "problem-posing" education--except that changing the mode of delivery may not at all alter the fundamental, repressive sets of practices at work.
Just a few months before the MOOC Research Initiative conference in December of 2013, Ian Bogost wrote an article for the Atlantic entitled "The Condensed Classroom," posing a skeptical glare at the move to promote flipped classrooms as a Trojan Horse for MOOCs to swarm within the high walls of Troy (my metaphor, not his).
Furthermore, Bogost explains, flipped classrooms more often than not serve to abstract the materials students would encounter prior to a traditionally delivered class. That is, rather than direct students to encounter primary materials, prepackaged lectures remediate those materials. So, in a way, the flipped classroom further removes students from the kind of chaotic, process-oriented learning experiences that a "cool" seminar-style delivery makes possible. Rather than improve instruction, the flipped classroom alters the educational experience away from the kind of "cool" (in the McLuhan sense of calling for those at the receiving end to generate their participation) delivery method of the traditional seminar.
Bogost is responding to a larger actant with this article: the ed-tech industry (MOOCs et al)/ Obama composition that already assumes that any real investment in education aside from the new online education push is already precluded:
What Bogost presents here is a interruption, a block in the pathway that the composition of MOOCs with politics still must contend with, especially after the results of the MOOC Research Initiative. And the new project transformation to follow will have to address and include the elements already trumpeted by George Siemens with the Connectivist MOOC.
I am an associate professor of Writing Arts at Rowan University. The views expressed here are my own.