People engaged in pursuit of a learning goal. Learners should be distinguished from students, who have contractual relationships with formal organizations (usually, but not always, schools) that often entail payment of tuition and the conferral of official credentials. The distinction between learners and students became normalized in the wake of massive open online courses (MOOCs), after 2012, when many people participated in instructional offerings purveyed by established schools, but schools did not officially classify MOOC participants as students.