Definition of e-learning

This week's post requires a little more participation than usual......

Can you navigate to the blog and use the comments feature for this post to share your own definition of e-learning; What is e-learning? what does it require? what does it deliver?

At the risk of skewing this activity I will provide my own off-the-cuff general definition of e-learning.
A broad range of activities and interactions, underpinned by information and/or audio visual technologies, which facilitate, support and enhance the learning processes and experiences of the participants.


Emily said...

OK, very off-the-cuff, from me:

E-Learning, broadly speaking, is any form of learning process created or facilitated by the interaction between the learner and electronically delivered content, networks, or pedagogical support.

David T said...

In its most basic form I would describe e-learning as;

Using digital resources and activities delivered via any electronic media that is designed to increase the users understanding in their desired subject or interest.

(Sorry, very similar to other suggestions)

I think expectations of e-learning now encompass the environment within which it is delivered. So I have added a definition (but feels like requirements) below.

E-Learner Expectations of E-Environment;
Accessible via an easily navigable virtual learning environment, that provides a personalised location. A space where all the learners activities, resources and/or information on current, past and future learning converge.
This space should aim to promote communication and sharing of ideas and experiences with tutors and peers reinforcing and developing learning within and beyond the course learning outcomes. These interactions are not bound by physical location, time constraints, mobility, disability or age.

I’m reminded of brand loyalty here a little. The “For Dummies “ books or Haynes manuals books for example where quality and consistence in layout size and level of knowledge aimed at give confident to the people who must buy them. (I can’t stand the Dummies books by the way, to American).

Mark said...

OK, a first for me: my first ever post on a blog thingy.

E-learning is the use of information storage/processing/exchange technology to enhance the learning experience for learners and teachers.

Question: where does a 'phone call fit in? Is e-learning a new name for something that's been going on for quite some time?

IMHO, what e-learning requires, to be successful, is a clearly identifiable benefit for the learner that distinguishes it from learning approaches with more interpersonal interaction. There are, of course, lots of possible benefits...................

Diana said...

What does E learning mean to me? Yes, it would involve technology – some form of audio/visual electronic media. So VLEs, databases, quizzes, discussion forums, on line materials would count as E learning for me. But not the phone or things such as PowerPoint in the classroom, lecture by video link or indeed Face book.

Why? This is difficult to answer but I think it is to do with the ‘interactive’ element. In a lecture where PowerPoint was used I would see myself interacting with the lecturer and my peer group. The PowerPoint would be just another means of delivering the content like handouts. By contrast in searching a database, using a VLE, engaging in on line discussion, I would see myself as being active in the learning process. Whether this was searching for information, contributing to debates or seeking feedback. So interaction with materials, other peers or tutors on line seems key to me.

A really interesting question is whether E learning is different from other forms of learning. For example, the learning that takes place in interprofessional education is seen to be different. What are the potential gains of E learning for the student?

Paolo Oprandi said...

I think you have some excellent definitions here, but for me when I hear the term e-learning I cringe a little. The terms reflective learning, group learning, research-based learning, problem-based learning and so on indicate a process through which the learner is learning. However, e-learning does not indicate the process, but the tool(s) through which learning is happening - through electronic technologies. The term e-learning is like calling anything in the classroom that uses a ruler "ruler learning" or paper "paper learning" or paper and pens "paper and pen learning" or a blackboard and chalk "blackboard and chalk learning". Therefore, I think that e-learning as a term is at the very least overused. :-)