4. A Taxonomy of MOOCs

4.4. Other Variations of MOOCs

I have deliberately focused on the differences in design between xMOOCs and cMOOCs, and Mackness (2103) and Yousef et al. (2014) also emphasise similar differences in philosophy/theory between cMOOCs and xMOOCs, as well as Downes himself (2012), one of the original designers of cMOOCs.

However, it should be noted that the design of MOOCs continues to evolve, with all kinds of variations. Pilli and Admiraal (2016) have identified 27 types of MOOC, including:

  • cMOOCs
  • xMOOCs
  • BOOCs (A Big Open Online Courses): A cross between an xMOOC and a Cmooc
  • COOCs (Community Open Online Courses): Small-scale, non-profit courses that corporations open online to provide courses for customers and/or employees
  • DOCCs (Distributed Open Collaborative Courses): This involves 17 universities sharing and adapting the same basic MOOC
  • LOOCs (Little Open Online Courses): As well as 15-20 tuition-paying campus-based students, such courses also allow a limited number of non-registered students to also take the course, but also paying a fee
  • MOORs (Massive Open Online Research): A mix of video-based lecturers and student research projects guided by the instructors
  • SPOCs (Small, Private, Online Courses): The example given is from Harvard Law School, which pre-selected 500 students from over 4,000 applicants, who take the same video-delivered lectures as on-campus students enrolled at Harvard

The MOOCs developed by the University of British Columbia and a number of other institutions use volunteers, paid academic assistants or even the instructor to moderate the online discussions and participant comments, making such MOOCs closer in design to regular for-credit online courses – except that they are open to anyone.