The MOOC Misnomer

MOOC = Massive Open Online Course

There are a number of reasons why the term MOOC is a misnomer.

– Many MOOCs are massive but not open (e.g.,

– Many MOOCs are open but not massive (e.g.,

– Many MOOCs try very hard not to be courses (e.g.,

Well, at least all MOOCs offered to date have been online – so at least there’s one thing we can agree on.

I hate this term. Almost every so-called MOOC violates at least one letter in the acronym. Why are we using this word that doesn’t describe the things we attach it to?

Bonus complaint: The MOOCs which are “massive but not open” pose a special threat to the future of OER, but no one seems to be paying attention… Before long the general public will feel that “free” is good / innovative enough, and no one will care about “open,” permissions, or licensing. The good has once again become the enemy of the best. And how to you wage a PR war against “the good?”