As I’m exploring the contours and shape of MOOCs through the eLearning and Digital Cultures MOOC, I am confronted by a whole set of acronyms — xMOOC, cMOOC, mobiMOOC, moocl, SOOC, modMOOC. At the same time I’m thinking through the critiques of MOOC including who they do and don’t serve or what is an isn’t possible within these environments.
Like many things, early movers in new technology realms, like Coursera and Udacity, which also have the ability to leverage resources — human, financial, technical — get to define and build the landscape. They become our de facto understanding of what a MOOC is or what is possible in the framing of “open education.”
Yet there are other models possible and other endeavors underway. Peer-2-Peer University allows anyone to create a course while providing a portal for reaching larger audiences than any individual effort could on their own. The Online University of the Left askew the capital market place rationale of the early movers. The University of the People tries to combine online learning but modeling ways to increase access and prevent cost from being a barrier. Mobile technologies, which more individuals globally have access to, are also being leveraged for MOOC-type learning with a development bent.
Now there will be those who say these are not MOOCs, but they definitely are in the OOC vien. Do we even know all o the multiple ways in which content on those platforms we identify with MOOCs are used? It seems that we need all the models we can get. Experimentation, innovation, working things out. Surely some will fail which is far preferable to having one set idea of what it is to expand learning online in the vien of open education.