OERu's Claim to be the "First" MOOC
I did notice the vague claim in the article that OERu created the first MOOC. The placement of "first" in scare-quotes underlines that suggestion. https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en?hl%3Den#!topic/oer-university/m4gW6AoeUQU
Numerous open courses, some of them massive, existed online before CCK08 (CCK08 is commonly called the first MOOC, because that's the course the term 'MOOC' was coined to describe). These courses were offered as early as the 1990s. We (George, Dave, myself and others) have always been clear that CCK08 was neither the first open course offered online nor even the first massive open course offered online. For example, I have written before http://www.downes.ca/post/58911
of Patrick Crispen's "Internet Roadmap" course, a massive open course offered online in 1994. And in work directly related to the MOOC themoocguide
I have been clear about precursor courses offered by people like Alec Couros and David Wiley (who used a wiki to offer an open course in 2007). So I don't think the creators of OERu should somehow feel jilted that they were not called 'the first MOOC'.
I have also explained in various fora exactly what it is that makes CCK08 'the first MOOC'. Unlike courses designed around a single web site (which is true not only of the Couros and Wiley courses, but also of wilki-based courses in general) CCK08 was developed as a distributed course. While most courses that use OERs gather these OERs into a single place, CCK08 linked to OERs, sending participants across the internet. In addition, student participation and contributions to CCK08 were also distributed; the course contributions were spread out over 170 different student blogs (and a variety of discussion boards, social media pages, Second Life islands, etc.). People could participate fully in the course without ever visiting the central course website (through the use of OPML and RSS, social media, and other distributed services). Distribting the course like this not only scales distribution (which is what site-based open online courses can do) it scales interaction
it. This is what makes CCK08 a massive course
rather than just a massive distribution of learning resources.
In the long run, it doesn't matter who got it done first, it matters whether it was done correctly. This is why understanding the assessment of MOOCs is important, and I wish Wayne's article http://bit.ly/1dgYM7m
had treated assessment and quality of MOOCs in much more detail. It would have been worth comparing quality assessment at OERu with the more detailed account I give http://bit.ly/16c4ngV
of quality assessment in MOOCs.