Mindpicnic, is a fairly complex online learning or e-learning web site which empowers its users to both create and learn from user-generated online courses. In taking a brief Mindpicnic tour you learn how the site works and can either sign up for courses or start your own course. In signing up for a course you receive a reading list just like a collegiate course might assign. Lessons are then assigned per course and your progress can be tracked via a set of progress bars which are further explained here.
Mindpicnic provides social hooks which include a community tab which tracks and displays the latest activities made on Mindpicnic in addition to displaying the most popular courses in the community, comments and tagging. Users can also search to find courses to subscribe to.
Mindpicnic is built the Django web framework (the brainchild of by Adrian Holovaty) and is most like Nuvvo another online learning site which even uses a similar color scheme. However, Mindpicnic is self-directed learning while Nuvvo is directed learning. Mindpicnic offers online flashcard functionality since learning is sometimes a repetitive process of memory retention. The flashcard feature is similar to that of Flashcard Exchange.
Mindpicnic is free for three courses or 20 lessons. A paid version allows you to learn as much as you would like for a small monthly fee. The pay version also gives you access to private courses as well as a few other features.
I think Mindpicnic is a great idea especially as e-learning continues to become more mainstream. Mindpicnic allows anyone to be a teacher, similar to how blogging allows anyone with a voice to express their view. Definitely a web 2.0 approach to online learning.
For more information on Mindpicnic check out the Mindpicnic weblog. If you are interested in a Germany version of Mindpicnic check out: http://www.mindpicnic.de