In a response to Scott McLemee in HASTAC,
here are some thoughts ...

MOOCs are open, by definition. Open can mean many things, but the most fascinating, for me, is simply that they are open to learning - serendipitous learning, unpredictable learning, learning by unexpected participants and pathways and media, learning by people who you wouldn't expect to be there, for instance because they cant afford university fees, etc, etc.

The two articles linked here seem to advocate prescribed contents, micro-managed feedback, and assessment as a key part of the plan (and business plan, as assessment-as-a-(paid for)-service). I have no problem with doing these things at a massive scale, in fact I am an enthusiastic supporter of what the AI MOOC achieved.

Its just that I think we need to start calling a spade a spade. Most of this kind of prescribed-learning-at-scale is training, albeit sometimes at a sophisticated leveland the notion that Khan Academy is a MOOC (see the recent article in CHE) is not even worth debating. So lets drop the polite 'family resemblance' between xMOOCs and cMOOCs, and call the former MOOTs - masssive open online training, and keep 'MOOCs' for open learning, as it was intended.
This is also an old debate - the difference between 'education' and 'training', and I think we need to dust it off and apply it here.

And a semiotician, I must add that the syntax of just adding 'a wee (lower case) prefix' to indicate family resemblance between 'cMOOCs' and 'xMOOCs' rings every alarm bell that I ever learnt about in applied linguistics. Prefixes or suffixes matter: 'African-American' is just not the same as 'American-African', for example. But maybe I read too much post-structuralism in my youth.