When i started mooching around, a mooc was a novel beast, a massive open online course that could be used for learning purposes that were self set. My experiences in both CCK08 and CCK09 ... was with a collective of people some of whom were interested in what i was, and some not. I got to hang out with people who were questioning and talking about things that i also wanted to question and talk about. Primarily with learning from and through each other.
The mooc of this age was young, and like many youngsters growing up was a bit unsteady and it was still developing its identity.
When it was good it was very very good, but when it was bad it was horrid.
The mooc was the network platform on which one could learn openly, set one's own learning goals and learn in a community where there was mutuality in both the teaching and learning. Or at least that's what i was getting and giving. In addition, connectivism was important pedagogically. Rather than a pedagogy of knowledge being something to consume, there was a sense of constructivism, things could be made better or bigger or applied further.... and more than this also there was potential for the knowledge developed to be created as an open outcome of connectivism, with perhaps a shift in typically individually focussed pedagogy of education evolving into one so much more socially oriented and focussed on collaboration.
What's evolving currently is a thoroughly different kind of beast. This one sets the learning, is massive and online but that's where the similarities stop. Co-opting what was meant by "open" is anyone can still enroll (assuming they can link in) but the learning becomes a predetermined curriculum for which one can, if one pays, be credited and certificated inside of mainstream educational institutions.
The networking gets obfuscated; no longer is networking required, just the network as a medium through which a predetermined course is provided, as indicated here
We are in danger of accepting the shadow of the mooc for what it might have been.