Defining e-Learning

By | June 19, 2007

In my last post, I mentioned a definition of e-Learning I wrote a few years ago. For the record, this is what I said:

How do you define e-learning? What are some examples?

My definition would be: Learning opportunities in which the learner/instructor interaction is facilitated through technology.

I would divide it into three catagories:

  • Self-paced
  • Synchronous
  • Asynchronous

Self-paced courses are probably the first ones that come to mind for most people. These could include the infamous pathetic page-turners, well-designed, human-computer interactive courses, simulations, and guided web research sessions, for example. (It’s worth noting the the instructional designer here acts as the instructor in the creation of the content and voice).

Synchronous examples include web conferencing, virtual classrooms, conference calls, and video conferencing.

Asynchronous examples include discussion boards/communities, email, etc.

How does your definition differ, add, or subtract from mine?

Now I’d probably add some other examples, like blogs and podcasts for asynchronous vehicles, but the basic definition I think still stands. There were some interesting thoughts posted on that thread a few years ago. What are your thoughts?

[tags]e-learning, education, instructional design, technology, definitions[/tags]

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