Brilliant thread. I almost feal unworthy to comment.
I have never participated in a MOOC. I got my masters in Education online from the University of Texas. I did this in 2005 before I even knew what a MOOC was. I never once felt my courses were static. I cherished every message from my supervisors, and they brought my courses to life. Granted, I was well on my way to being a self-regulated learner so a great deal of interaction wasn't necessary. In my opinion, MOOCs are awful from an undergraduate's viewpoint. I took a medical terminology course for my undergrad which involved zero interaction with a teacher. It sucked. I aced it with the least amount of effort. I could have received equal quality of education from the back of a cereal box. That being said, there is a huge amount of middle ground between professor-heavy interaction and stand-alone courses.
I'm a teacher with a big stake hold on keeping the human teacher element alive in the classroom. I'm also beginning doctoral research in education technology. I feel the human interaction of MOOC instructors will be the crux of their usefulness for developing minds.
Regarding the thesis of this thread, of course MOOCs aren't going anywhere. They are at the Model-T level of their development. The only difference is that we will not have to wait long to see what the Ferrari of MOOCs will look like.
Exciting times folks