Are MOOCs just online courses?: it depends!
This post is going to be badly formatted because I have yet to find an Android client for blogger that it as nice as BlogPress on my iPhone.
While on vacation, and on a train, I was able to catch up on the news in academia. One thing that came up, among the oodles on MOOC news is the question of whether MOOCs are just online courses (see here: http://www.thegoodmooc.com/2013/06/are-moocs-becoming-just-online-courses.html?m=1 ).
It's an interesting question and the answer, at least for me, is: "it depends". One off the big questions is how many people are active in the course, or in other words "how maybe is massive?" The design of a course will differ based on how many people actually participate. You could have a MOOC that resembles a traditional online course, you could have a MOOC that resembles a self-paced course and you could have a MOOC that resembles any one of the many existing field of instruction.
The underlying pedagogy in MOOCs is just one aspect to examine when thinking about MOOCs (this is the "course" part). There are other aspects which include students, cost and open materials and intellectual property. When discussing MOOCs you can't really discuss one without the other.