Wednesday, April 3, 2013
As I am reading, I come across this new term: Small Private Online Course (SPOC). Huh? C'est quoi ça? Well, I had to follow the link to find out! The link wasn't particularly helpful since it just spelled out the acronym and didn't provide a reference. I honestly think this gold rush to name things needs to end. SPOC? Do you mean a traditional online course? Traditional online courses are Small, and Private (i.e., not open!) Are SPOCs free? In such case should they be fSPOCs? or should be they SPOFCs? It's the same silliness we see with the name "LOOC" (little open online course), which I dislike with the same kind of strength :-) What is "little" anyway? I've been saying for a while that "massive" is really just a matter of perspective. A course that has more pre-requisites and a higher barrier to entry will, be definition, have fewer participants. A course that is an introductory level course with few, or no, pre-requisites will be open to a more volumous amount of students and therefore will be "more" massive. I don't think that the Massive in MOOC is absolute, but rather it is relative!
So, please, can we not call invent new names for things that already exist just for the sake of making a name?