What is eLearning?

In the broadest sense, eLearning is “Learning via ANY Electronic Means”…

That said, eLearning is not just about “on line learning” given that someone can learn via an electronic device and not be “on line” or on the internet at all.

The Evolution of eLearning

In the beginning eLearning was referred to as:

  • Computer Based Training (CBT) and then with the emergence of the internet, it became…

  • Web Based Training (WBT), this term then morphed into…

  • On Line Learning and finally the term…

  • eLearning was coined in the late 90’s as the contemporary “umbrella” term as of this writing.

While traditional eLearning can be rather formal and linear with stated learning objectives and quiz objects…

There are now many other forms of eLearning…

  • New Media Learning: providing training and education through podcasting and blogging…
  • Social Learning: through guided interaction and dialog through Twitter, Facebook and a myriad of other social sites…
  • Network Learning that combines many mediums and technologies to deliver targeted content to a narrow demographic – such as Linked In or WebMD.
  • Experiential Learning that consist of gaming / simulation and usually involves the participant in a learning experience that is immersive, interactive and in some cases involving virtual worlds…
  • Investigative Learning where an individual learns through searching and browsing the web and the thought process that leads as a result to solutions not previously imagined.
  • And last, but not least – Mobile Learning… while falls in to a category in and of itself, and trust me… I will be blogging and podcasting about this one!

So, given the breadth of what I just mentioned, it becomes quite clear that eLearning is not just about teaching someone how to process an invoice or to the proper way to operate a drill press…  In fact, a great deal of what we do in our day to day utilization of technology is providing people with guidance, instruction and education or the inverse, where we are learning from others through electronic means.

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