Alastair Creelman. An assortment of MOOC thoughts inspired by this week's news feed. There is some concern that many MOOCs are simply repositories of content in the form of lectures, reading and automatic tests and are not even really courses at all. This is the main point behind a post by Justin Reich, Is a MOOC a Textbook or a Course? Yes there's plenty of good material there and you can certainly learn a lot but you're largely on your own and the question is whether this can be considered a coherent course. I feel that such types of MOOC are perfectly valid as long as they don't pretend to be any more. It's vital that every MOOC describes clearly and upfront exactly what type of course it is (or not) and explains what types of study the student should expect. That can be one quality criterion; a clear statement on what's in store for the learner, the type of course, pedagogy and demands. All I've seen do this well but maybe we also need to know what the MOOC doesn't offer, just to avoid any misunderstanding. Then there's the excellent report from the University of Edinburgh on the results of their first MOOCs under the Coursera banner. As Donald Clark reports on his blog, Report on 6 MOOCs turns up 10 surprises, students were clearly satisfied with the courses on offer with only 2% responding that the course did not meet their expectations.