People often complain that taxonomies are pedantic. But taxonomies force one to contemplate and respect significant differences in phenomena — and the process of making taxonomies is the process of understanding one’s aims and one’s value system. So taxonomies are hardly trivial.
In any case I like terms that Downes calls attention to today, but rather than find the perfect acronym for MOOCs I’d prefer to see a few well-considered additional terms appear. The idea of a taxonomy that includes SOOCs (like the Stanford class) and MILEs (like Connectivism and ds106) is attractive to me, for example.
Why does it matter? Because I think there is a place for a variety of experience in this realm, and I would hate to see us get all wrapped up in weird litmus tests for MOOC-ishness. And to do that we need a slighly more expansive typology so that we can all stop complaining that horses aren’t giraffes and that giraffes are not sea turtles.