A MOOC is by definition a massive open online course. The term MOOC was coined in 2008 by Dave Cormier and / or Brian Alexander, who were involved in the seminal MOOC that year called Connectivism and Connective Knowledge, the first of many of what became known as cMOOC (http://nova.campusguides.com/c.php?g=112312&p=725994). Many people however associate the term MOOC with the xMOOC model initiated by Peter Norvik and Sebastian Thrun in 2011, the latter of whom went on to start Udacity. Coursera appeared soon after, followed by EdX, whose name Siemens co-opted in making the between cMOOCs (or connectivist MOOCs) and xMOOCs (Siemens, 2012).
Some who have engaged in online training for the past decade or more are considering whether what they have been doing might have fallen under the definition of MOOC all along. EVO, now in its 15th year, could conceivably claim to be a precursor MOOC by virtue of its comprising a set of courses conducted entirely online, leaving behind permanent artifacts on open access, and reaching thousands of participants each year.
As instances of online courses, both xMOOCs and cMOOCs utilize what has become known as flipped learning, an idea that many consider to have been first implemented on a wide scale in Khan Academy courses in 2004 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flipped_classroom). However, this common feature of MOOCs belies other significant differences.
In guiding development of future EVO sessions, it’s worth looking at what characterizes and distinguishes cMOOCs from xMOOCs. This presentation lists affordances of the former which resonate with what normally happens in EVO sessions; e.g. use of social media, participant driven content, distributed communication, and no formal assessment, as specified in an article by Bates (2014) which is being used in EVO training this year.
Furthermore, EVO is all about networking and communities of practice. The sessions strongly build content not only from a set syllabus in each course but in most cases from the discussion and creativity brought to each subject by participants from diverse perspectives from all over the globe. Thus EVO can benefit from considering its activities to be informed by elements of the cMOOC framework.