I have merged my thoughts into this one response although it probably covers a few areas of the activity.
I think there are advantages and disadvantages to running a MOOC. There is a definite mass-audience appeal which lends itself to large numbers of participants located anywhere around the globe. Some challenges with this are that time zone and language support may not always be provided, especially for live sessions. But with careful planning once the course has started and audience numbers / locations are evaluated these can be overcome by using regional “experts” if available so that no participant feels excluded.
Actual number of participants may be counterproductive especially if there is the feeling of being a small fish in a big pond, or if support mechanisms are not in place.
As has been noted before MOOCS offer a great wealth of information, I think it’s important to think offline before diving in too deep, becoming overwhelmed or bogged down, what it is that I want to take from my participation in this course and focus on those topics. As too much information or reading too many topic threads causes me personally to overload. My phrase for this would be “break it down or break-down!”
Although I have set up and ran online courses, this is the first time that I have participated in one as a learner, for me the use of the forums, will be the most important tool, allowing me to have two way dialogue with you the dear reader, and a tool that can act as a method of support or a spring board for ideas.