Social web software offers teachers and lecturers new and diverse possibilities of designing problem-oriented, interactive and situated learning environments. By involving the general public or a segment thereof in the learning process, interesting, challenging and true-to-life problems can be created and jointly dealt with by students in authentic learning situations. Feedback from the community results in multiple and diverging views on the subject of study. Online collaboration tools and social networking platforms are used for the cooperative creation of knowledge and for coordinating group processes. Establishing open and participatory learning environments implicates a number of changes for learners and teachers. In addition, the education system and politics need to create the necessary framework conditions. This paper discusses the opportunities and challenges of integrating social web software into formal teaching and learning settings by examining several didactic concepts, practice-oriented case studies and current research results. Furthermore, a comparison is drawn between these new learning environments and the traditional, multifunctional and widespread Learning Management Systems (LMS) which, in practice, are mainly used for closed and instructional teaching and learning settings. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which have been much discussed in the last few years, represent a model of individual, self-directed, self-reliant as well as networked, open, collaborative, and continuous online learning. In order to provide a well-funded analysis of the MOOC phenomenon, it is necessary to distinguish between cMOOCs (connectivist MOOCs), which are based on the concept of networked learning, and instructor-centric xMOOCs, which resemble traditional college courses. The creative-collaborative cMOOCs focus on connecting people and information, as well as on generating new knowledge and coexisting points of view through dialogue and active interaction among learners. Institutionally focused xMOOCs, on the other hand, are designed to deliver knowledge to larger audiences via pre-recorded short lecture videos combined with quizzes for self-assessment. MOOCs are free of charge and open to anyone. This paper examines the advantages and challenges of MOOCs in detail and discusses these online courses' impact on education.