AbstractAbstract: In this work, the changing roles of the academic teacher and the student are studied. The current problems of the higher education, combined with the potential development of e-learning may eventually lead to the introduction of a new learning paradigm. In the future, the key to the learning process will be the interactions among students themselves, and the formation of virtual learning communities will be the necessary qualification for effective e-learning. The potential development of learning communities will also be studied by using a metaphoric term "peer-to-peer learning". A simplified model for the peer-to-peer learning will be presented, using activity theory as a framework.