Online collaborative learning emphasizes student activity and is associated with changes in perceptions of who is responsible for leading groups of learners. It raises questions about the roles of teachers and students as leaders. A teacher may act as the guide or as a member of the group and a co-learner. An important question is whether the success or failure of online collaborative learning depends on the role and skills of a group leader. There is reason to believe that online groups do need guidance, but there is a need to consider the extent to which instructors make students aware of their roles, and the degree to which they are tangibly present in an online environment.