Sugata Mitra (Newcastle University, UK) tells a remarkable story about education based on a series of real-world experiments. Given the right conditions (i.e. sufficient resources + non-interference) children can teach themselves even sophisticated subject matter.
MOOC typically means Massively Open Online Course. There are many models that meet this description to varying degrees and the concept is rapidly changing. Open Online courses are nothing new. OSU offered its first web-based online course in 1994. What is new is the massive idea, in some cases involving thousands and tens of thousands of students in a single term of a course.