MOOC's story - early approaches
The first MOOCs emerged from the open educational resources (OER) movement, and from work by researchers who pointed out that class size and learning outcomes had no established connection, with Daniel Barwick's work being the most often-cited example. The term MOOC was coined in 2008 by Dave Cormier of the University of Prince Edward Island in response to a course called Connectivism and Connective Knowledge (also known as CCK08). CCK08, which was led by George Siemens of Athabasca University and Stephen Downes of the National Research Council, consisted of 25 tuition-paying students in Extended Education at the University of Manitoba, as well as over 2200 online students from the general public who paid nothing. All course content was available through RSS feeds, and online students could participate through collaborative tools, including blog posts, threaded discussions in Moodle, and Second Life meetings. Stephen Downes considers these so-called cMOOCs to be more "creative and dynamic" than the current xMOOCs, which he believes "resemble television shows or digital textbooks.
Other cMOOCs were then developed; for example, Jim Groom from The University of Mary Washington and Michael Branson Smith of York College, City University of New York hosted MOOCs through several universities starting with 2011's 'Digital Storytelling' (ds106) MOOC. MOOCs from private, non-profit institutions emphasized prominent faculty members and expanded existing distance learning offerings (e.g., podcasts) into free and open online courses.
Alongside the development of these open courses, other E-learning platforms emerged — such as Khan Academy, Peer-to-Peer University (P2PU), Udemy, and ALISON — which are viewed as similar to MOOCs and work outside the university system or emphasize individual self-paced lessons.