Students in Free Online Courses Form Groups to Study and Socialize - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Distance Ed Archive |

"As enrollment has rapidly increased in free online classes, also known as Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOC’s, students are increasingly forming groups, both online and in the real world, to study and socialize.


Whether aiming to make the experience more personal or to learn more about the possibilities of free online education, the students are seeking out various ways to connect with classmates." -- from Source


NOTE: the article goes on to give a couple well explained descriptions of different ways the groups are formed or used and which technologies they use to create their groups.