moocs are touted as 'the future' of education. most of that enthusiasm is from businesses looking to cash in, or institutions looking for a way to reduce overheads.
to do 'distance education' well requires a lot more than some content, videos of someone describing it, and some activities that go along with that. assessment is also more than "here's a test". we have some good distance education options in australia - but far, far more shoddy ones.
most of the better online courses i've seen, or participated in, are carefully crafted, with lots of different resources - and often explain fundamental ideas.
there are quite a few places to look for how-tos on tech - especially how to use x or y software. lots of videos that show-and-tell. these can be pretty good for self-learning as you can rewatch sections as you practice techniques.
i've seen very few that do a good job of explaining how tech works, or why it works the way it does. even fewer that challenge students to question these things. [i'm always interested in such things, so if anyone has found such things, let me know!]
the biggest problem i see with moocs, is the expectation that they will replace face-to-face teaching. learning is a lot more than just absorbing stuff, and practicing things. (or, at least, education is - and ought to continue to be - more than just 'learning to drive').
a well-designed and well-run mooc can offer a rich learning environment, but those are always supported by people. i see an enthusiasm for replacing 'expensive' teachers with 'cheap' moocs - and i wonder: does anyone care about what people learn any more?
self-directed learning works well when someone has some idea what they want to learn, and why, and how they'll use it. replacing teachers with videos means students have less help with issues of how they learn, of learning the right things from the materials, and learning how to adapt and apply what they've learnt to other contexts and other situations.