I didn’t know I was in a cMOOC until it was mentioned in David’s post, The missing persective(s) on MOOC’s.  I then went on to read Sir John Daniel’s blog post, Making Sense of MOOCs: Musings in a Maze of Myth, Paradox and Possibility and still wasn’t clear what the distinction was between cMOOC and xMOOC.

A little research with Google led me to two useful sites.

The first site, massiveopenonlinecourses.com, explained the difference between the two types including the history.  Ironically this was on the site of what I understand is a provider of xMOOC’s.

The second site, Jonathan Haber’s DegreeofFreedom, provided a perspective much closer to my experience.  From the perspective of the individual, he expolores his online experiences.

I only learned recently that I’ve not been enrolled in MOOC classes at all, but have instead been involved with something called an xMOOC.  

xMOOCs based on traditional college courses that seem to be replicating the pedagogy of the low-tech classroom, but doing so in a way that eliminates the intimacy between a teacher and his or her students (who, within a MOOC, can number in the tens of thousands).

I, on the other hand, find I am in a cMOOC.

With cMOOCs, learners are expected to make an active contribution via different digital platforms. Contributions from students in the form of tweets, blog entries, etc are moderated by course supervisors, and delivered to every course participant in a daily newsletter or email.

Two Cows Courtesy of Martin Gommel on Flickr

Two Cows Courtesy of Martin Gommel on Flickr

So a MOOC isn’t just a cow by a different name,


3 thoughts on “xMOOC vs. cMOOC

  1. And that’s just the arguments about the first letters: x & c. You then get arguments about the other letters.
    M – Massive. NGL is probably at best a cSOOC (S – small)
    O – Open. This is where some real arguments can take place. While anyone can enrol in most of the xMOOCs, the question of whether not they are open is challenged. NGL is closer to being open in terms of anyone being able to access the site and engage. But not everyone can get credit.
    O – Online Haven’t seen as much of a challenge about this.
    C – Course What makes a course? Limited time span seems to be one defining characteristic.


  2. Reblogged this on Networked & Global Learning and commented:
    I enjoyed reading this blog post by Tracey McGrath, who explains the difference between xMOOC and cMOOC. MOOCs are are area of online learning that I would like to explore in detail. MOOCs began a few years ago and are already evolving. I have not really had much to do with MOOCs until now – my background is based in formal education – however, I am interested in exploring MOOCs to see how they can correlate and work with formal online education.


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