Going back all the way to the early days of MOOCs (less than a decade, of course), the Open part of Massive Open Online Courses was a very important part of the equation. OPEN meant a number of things, including:
Access - open to all, regardless of age, location or previous experience and education
Free - without cost
Open Tools - using free and open tools like Moodle, blogs etc.
Reuse – the right to reuse the content in its unaltered / verbatim form
Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself
Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other content to create something new
Redistribute – the right to make and share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others
That is not true for many of the big MOOC providers. Another blow against the Open Everything Empire comes with the announcement that Udacity will no longer give learners the opportunity to earn free, “non-identity-verified” certificates. People will still be able to view Udacity’s online course materials without paying, but those who want a credential will have to pay. Udacity feels their courses are worth something and plans to charge students accordingly. Udacity had earlier pulled back on believing that MOOCs are best-suited for academic pursuits and better applied to traing and lifelong learning. That is what many universities consider to be "non-credit" courses.
How long before the courses are not even open to those who aren't willing to pay to learn?
The big MOOC providers already tend not to use open source platforms and most don't allow the courses to be remixed, reused or redistributed.
The openness is eroding.