Hi Dave,
I don’t think there is a perfect MOOC model, mainly because everyone has different learning style and that you can’t meet everyone’s expectations.
As mentioned, I love your story, as I find it truly inspiring. Learning requires hardwork, though it could be fun.
And open course on-line learning would only be successful if the participants are sharing, interacting and contributing. Otherwise, it will turn into an informal social network chat – where people don’t find much educational values or credibility, especially if the participants are professional teachers. This is not uncommon with the Friends chat on some social network such as Facebook, though they are designed for social chatting purpose, and has its own merits.
I think George and Stephen have been very successful in demonstrating the importance of connectivism as a way to learn – distributed knowledge on the network at this digital age. The disruption as cited is anticipated in such a huge crowd, and is not uncommon even in a classroom setting. There are always some participants who would demand changes in course content, assessment and delivery, even though it is the “best of its kind” in the world. These may be due to power and authority issues, and the different backgrounds of the participants, who have different expectations. Every teacher who has conducted courses in an educational institution or on-line courses would have such experience to some extent (especially if one has delivered courses for more than 10 years in the adult education sectors). So, it all comes back to learners’ needs and expectation, and the teachers’ responses to those situations.
I have left more comments on my blog.