Today I planned to participate in the JISC MOOC webinar, but the Elluminate files would not open (even though I'd been through all the configuration from Bb), so I couldn't. So instead, here is a blog post about ... not quite MOOCs. This post is me sorting a few things out, and working off my frustration with Blackboard. Hopefully.
I am currently participating in two MOOCs, Udacity Statistics 101 and Google's Power Searching course. I'm blogging about both of these separately, but this post is an overview of the whole concept. I have never participated in a MOOC, a Massive Online Open Course. Neither the Udacity nor Google courses (nor Coursera, not Ed-X) are MOOCs, because they are Massive Online Courses, but none of them are Open, in the sense of Copyleft or allowing participants to decide what platforms to use. Do I care? No, I don't. I care about the quality of the courses themselves, but I've never really bought into the connectivism voodoo, what matters to me is functionality. How much do I learn?
So if this explosion of free (currently) online education courses are not MOOCs, what are they? David Lefevre suggests we call them MOTS, Massive Online Tutoring Systems (via Seb Schmoller). This I like, as it is both accurate and descriptive. I'd like to start using the term MOTS for what we're seeing now - but changing the trendy MOOC name is going to be hard. Care to help me?
See: Inside Higher Ed: Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Unpacking the MOOC as Buzzword
Update: JISC Webinar recording is here.