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stevebresnick on 2011-09-24MOOCs, or "Massive Open Online Courses", are a relatively new model of distance e-learning where hundreds and sometimes thousands of participants all take an online course together. The instructional mode of the courses is fairly decentralized; since there are so many participants in the course, the individual students cannot typically expect to have much individual interaction with the professors running the course. As a result, individual members of the MOOCs take on roles of peer teachers, and these roles are assumed organically (i.e. nobody invites them to become teachers in the course, they simply step up and take the reins). The assessment of MOOCs is extremely flexible; there are no grades and people only participate in what they want to participate in. The theory is that the MOOC creators put the learning environment into place, and the participants learn what they want to learn; less participation simply means that they will not learn as much. Thought this was a though-provoking model of eLearning and the changing role of the instructor in an eLearning environment.