Is a MOOC a Textbook or a Course?

Justin Reich, , May 21, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I have in the past listed the courses offered by ALISON (I hate ugly all-acronym company names) on www.mooc.ca and just received a request to do so again (actually, they're asking for the listing on "your MOOCs list on the Gilfus Education Group website," which of course is not mine at all, except in the sense that Gilfus copied my list and put it there). Now I'm reconsidering my original decision, not in the least because ALISON (IHUAACN) is now positioning itslef as 'the first MOOC provider' (see this item, for example). What ALISON (IHUAACN) actually provides are free self-paced online course packages. And, of course, people have been doing that since the Middle Ages. And it brings to mind the sense in which a course is an event in which a course package is not.

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