Comment on Comparing xMOOCs and cMOOCs: philosophy and practice by Tony Bates

October 17, 2014 Tony Bates

Hi, Linda
Stephen Downes made the distinction shortly after Coursera, Udacity and edX MOOCs appeared, in a post on his blog July 20, 2012 (http://www.downes.ca/post/58676) and endorsed at the same time by George Siemens and Dave Cormier
CCK08 was offered by the Extension (Continuing Ed) division of the University of Manitoba, so my understanding is that although there were tuition-paying students as well as the open and free students, this was NOT part of a degree course.
No, I would not agree that CCK08 was an xMOOC. It had both a different design and different philosophy to those that came later from Stanford, et al. I think therefore the distinction is useful, although given the way MOOCs are evolving,the distinction is increasing becoming blurred.
The main difference I see between cMOOCs and communities of practice is that the latter is a general approach to lifelong learning, while cMOOCs are a particular application using the web and social media. That’s my view though and it may not be shared by cMOOC proponents.
There’s nothing ‘wrong’ with human-organized communities of practice, or even cMOOCs, but as with all approaches to education, their success or otherwise depends on a wide range of factors which are often not always present, and proponents have to be careful not to oversell them.

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