MOOCS GONE WILD
MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) have been around since 2008, when 2,300 students took part in a course called “Connectivism and Connective Knowledge” organized by University of Manitoba (Canada). The year 2012 was widely recognized as “The year of the MOOC”, because several MOOC initiatives gained a world-wide popularity. Nowadays, many experts consider MOOCs a “revolution in education”. However, other experts think is too soon to make such a claim since MOOCs still have to prove they are here to stay.
With the spread of MOOCs, different providers have appeared, such as Coursera, Udacity and EdX. In addition, some popular LMS (Learning Management Systems), such as Moodle or Sakai, have also been used to provide MOOCs. Besides, a new breed of LMS has appeared in recent months with the aim of providing tools to create MOOCs: OpenMOOC and Google CourseBuilder being two of them.
The growing interest of MOOCs has led to the emergence of different forms of use. In some cases, such as xMOOCs, the initial concept has been distorted. In other cases, such as SPOCs (Small Private Online Courses), it has become possible to use MOOCs in contexts alternatives to which they were originally created. For example, MOOCs have been used at some universities as creditable courses. And some teachers are using MOOCs as support for their lectures by applying the “flipped classroom” method.
The aim of this paper is to clarify the enormous confusion that currently exists around the MOOCs. On one hand, in this paper we categorize the different MOOCs that currently exist. On the other hand, we present a classification of MOOCs from different perspectives: content, access, use, etc. Finally, we highlight some features that should be considered in the classification of MOOCs, such as accessibility and language barriers.