MOOCs have experienced an unprecedented explosion of publicity. This publicity indicates both optimism that they may be the panacea for whatever ails higher education, as well as caution and trepidation that this may in-fact be some sort of new fad in higher education. In this wave of optimism, and subsequent wave of pessimism, we believe that there is something good to examine about MOOCs and that they do hold potential for certain educational arenas. That said, we don’t want to blindly dive into the MOOC optimism camp. We have critically examined the literature, from both academic peer-reviewed and academic press lenses, from 2011 to early 2014 so as to discover and discuss the main areas of challenges and issues with MOOCs. These challenges span the spectrum from pre-offering to post-conclusion of a MOOC. Our aim was to provide an initial typology of issues around MOOCs design and implementation so that we can keep them in mind as MOOCs are designed and offered, and we can begin to address some of the issues.


MOOC, development, design, typology, issues, assessment, motivation, engagement, xMOOC, cMOOC



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