The MOOC I have just joned is called LTMOOC, and has a focus on language teaching.
I can already tell that the two MOOCs differ significantly from each other. Learning analytics had a stronger theoretical focus, while LT uses a lot of project work. And while Learning Analytics was organized by university researchers, LTMOOC is organized by
I wonder how this combination - practical focus and closeness to a specific company - will influence the learning experience. As far as I can tell, most tasks during this MOOC will involve the product sold by Instreamia. Is this focus on one product an advantage, since all participants will share the experience of having used these tools? Or would it stimulate discussion more if people used different tools for similar tasks? What of what I will learn here will be transferable to Moodle, OLAT or Ilias? Will the facilitators succeed in presenting a balanced view of the product? What about the theories presented? Have they been chosen to represent the different challenges and opportunities of blended language teaching, or to make the product look good, highlighting its strengths and ignoring its weaknesses?
I realize that this is not necessarily a "university vs company" thing. A university professor suggesting MOOC participants buy his/her textbook also can have commercial interests at heart. Which notions are included, which guest lecturers are invited, which reading assignments are included - these are never "neutral" choices. Also, by asking "Cui bono?", I do not necessarily mean to imply that it is bad if people profit from their MOOCs. Why shouldn't they? Increased reputation, increased book sales, they aren't a bad thing. I just wonder how we can best balance these specific individual or company interests with the interests of the learners. If MOOCs are to become a stable part of the edu-scene, this is a question that will need to be answered.