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Q: E-Learning ( Answered 3 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: E-Learning
Category: Computers > Internet
Asked by: zhreish-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 29 Jan 2005 00:37 PST
Expires: 28 Feb 2005 00:37 PST
Question ID: 465237
What is e-learning? IT Background of e-learning? Impact of e-learning?
Advangtages and disadvantages? Sollutions to problems?
Subject: Re: E-Learning
Answered By: adiloren-ga on 29 Jan 2005 02:49 PST
Rated:3 out of 5 stars
Hello, thank you for the interesting question. I have outlined
responses to your questions below and provided numerous links for
further exploration.
Google Answers is, in and of itself, a means for e-learning. I hope my
answer hopes to further educate you and others on the use of important
new technologies in the realm of education. Good luck in your


"E-learning" refers to an approach to education that seeks to maximize
learning through the use of electronics, such as, personal computers,
Internet, CD roms and other multimedia. Through these devices one can
employ new tools of education, like email, message boards, interactive
forums, educational software, etc. WANs (wide area networks) can also
be used as a means to support distance learning.

It is defined here as:
"Education via the Internet, network, or standalone computer.
Network-enabled transfer of skills and knowledge. e-learning refers to
using electronic applications and processes to learn. e-learning
applications and processes include Web-based learning, computer-based
learning, virtual classrooms, and digital collaboration. Content is
delivered via the Internet, intranet/extranet, audio or video tape,
satellite TV, and CD-ROM."

A more technical definition is provided here:
"Any learning that utilizes a network (LAN, WAN or Internet) for
delivery, interaction, or facilitation.  This would include
distributed learning , distance learning (other than pure
correspondence ), CBT delivered over a network, and WBT .  Can be
synchronous , asynchronous , instructor-led or computer-based or a

Additional Definitions of E-learning:

E-learning often allows for a more student centric process, whereas
the learner is able to progress at their own pace. E-learning is still
in is relative infancy, but could revolutionize education. We are
already seeing this in the rapid expansion of online colleges.

Here is some information on how online courses employ e-learning technologies:

Here is a helpful analogy:

"E-learning is to classroom learning as cell phones are to a pay phone
at the bus station.

Well, at least it is in some ways. For instance, e-learning allows you
to learn anywhere and usually at any time, as long as you have a
properly configured computer. Cell phones allow you to communicate any
time and usually anywhere, as long as you have a properly configured

E-learning can be CD-ROM-based, Network-based, Intranet-based or
Internet-based. It can include text, video, audio, animation and
virtual environments. It can be a very rich learning experience that
can even surpass the level of training you might experience in a
crowded classroom. It is self-paced, hands-on learning.

The quality of the electronic-based training, as in every form of
training, is in its content and its delivery. E-learning can suffer
from many of the same pitfalls as classroom training, such as boring
slides, monotonous speech, and little opportunity for interaction. The
beauty of e-learning, however, is that new software allows the
creation of very effective learning environments that can engulf you
in the material."

There are different levels of E-learning and it can be categorized in
four seperate realms.

They are:

"*	Knowledge databases -- While not necessarily seen as actual
training, these databases are the most basic form of e-learning.
You've probably seen knowledge databases on software sites offering
indexed explanations and guidance for software questions, along with
step-by-step instructions for performing specific tasks. These are
usually moderately interactive, meaning that you can either type in a
key word or phrase to search the database, or make a selection from an
alphabetical list.

*	Online support - Online support is also a form of e-learning and
functions in a similar manner to knowledge databases. Online support
comes in the form of forums, chat rooms, online bulletin boards,
e-mail, or live instant-messaging support. Slightly more interactive
than knowledge databases, online support offers the opportunity for
more specific questions and answers, as well as more immediate

* Asynchronous training - This is e-learning in the more traditional
sense of the word. It involves self-paced learning, either
CD-ROM-based, Network-based, Intranet-based or Internet-based. It may
include access to instructors through online bulletin boards, online
discussion groups and e-mail. Or, it may be totally self-contained
with links to reference materials in place of a live instructor.

*Synchronous training - Synchronous training is done in real-time with
a live instructor facilitating the training. Everyone logs in at a set
time and can communicate directly with the instructor and with each
other. You can raise your cyber hand and even view the cyber
whiteboard. It lasts for a set amount of time -- from a single session
to several weeks, months or even years. This type of training usually
takes place via Internet Web sites, audio- or video-conferencing,
Internet telephony, or even two-way live broadcasts to students in a

Here is an overview of the technologies used in e-learning:

Often, e-learning methods are used to augment traditional learning and
teaching methodologies. For example, combining distance edication with
direct education with face to face human contact, or combining
software with traditional classroom education resources, such as
books, lectures, etc. Furthermore, many colleges and universities have
begun to host discussion forums where students and teachers can
discuss their respective classes and/or post assignments, lecture
notes, etc.

Organization is another benefit of e-learning. CD roms and subject
websites can intensively organize information and post hyperlinks that
allow access to extensive referencing and backround information. 
MLE's or managed learning environments, take this to an even deeper
level, providing  students and teachers with a constant interface.

E-learning techniques are also employed in industry to better train
and educate employees. For large corporations, having the ability to
present a unfied and consistent format of training is an attractive

"According to Jay Cross, information architect of Internet Time Group,
"eLearning" is the target model for corporate training in the next
three to five years. It will be a key survival skill for corporations
and free agent learners and is a convergence of:

*	loosely organized corporate ecologies 
*	a business climate of permanent white water 
*	technological advances, including high-speed broadband networks 
*	a shift of power and responsibility from organizations to individuals
*	emergent best practices, from performance support to training to
knowledge management. ""

Some thoughts on the future of e-learning:


Advantages and Disadvantages of E-learning:

Some of the advantages of e-learning are:

"Class work can be scheduled around work and family
*	Reduces travel time and travel costs for off-campus students 
*	Students may have the option to select learning materials that meets
their level of knowledge and interest
*	Students can study anywhere they have access to a computer and
Internet connection
*	Self-paced learning modules allow students to work at their own pace 
*	Flexibility to join discussions in the bulletin board threaded
discussion areas at any hour, or visit with classmates and instructors
remotely in chat rooms
*	Instructors and students both report eLearning fosters more
interaction among students and instructors than in large lecture
*	eLearning can accommodate different learning styles and facilitate
learning through a variety of activities
*	Develops knowledge of the Internet and computers skills that will
help learners throughout their lives and careers
*	Successfully completing online or computer-based courses builds
self-knowledge and self-confidence and encourages students to take
responsibility for their learning
*	Learners can test out of or skim over materials already mastered and
concentrate efforts in mastering areas containing new information
and/or skills "

Here are some of the potential disadvantages of e-learning:
Instructors need to learn to be effective online instructors 

"*	Hard for instructors to move traditional content online 

*	More time consuming for instructors to provide individualized
feedback (because more learners are often actively involved)

*	Equipment needs of students and learning providers 

*	Technical training and support of learners and instructors 

*	Academic honesty of online students 

*	Types and effectiveness of assessments 

*	Lack of face to face interaction 

*	Equity of access to learners of all backgrounds and parts of society 

*	Requires new skills and responsibilities from learners"

eLearner- Advantages and Disadvantages


The Impact of e-learning:

 "Over 1.9 million students were studying online in the fall of 2003." 

 "The expected average growth rate for online students for 2004 is
24.8%, up from 19.8% in 2003."

Entering the Mainstream - The Sloan Consortium, Oct 2004

The Impact of E-Learning on a University Campus

Ferl - Impact of e-learning on Learner Participation page=633&catID=644&printable=1

With those numbers, it is obvious that e-learning is and will effect
the landscape of education.

As noted above, the impact of elearning on corporate training is great as well. 

Corporate Training through elearning

Creating Business Impact Through e-Learning


Additional Resources:

*How E-learning Works
by Lee Ann Obringer

*E-learning Links

E-learning centre
What is e-learning?

eLearning FAQ -

*The eLearning Guild

*elearningpost  ( provides news and
views into the process and practice of e-learning

 *U.S. News and World Report E-learning Page

*	EducaNext ( is a portal for sharing learning objects.

*E-Learning (elearning) Guru

*	Learning Circuits ( latest
e-learning developments

*EJEL, Electronic Journal of eLearning ( provides
perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and
management of e-Learning initiatives.

*	Stephen's Web ( e-learning and related
technology, includes the widely read OL Daily e-learning newsletter

*	e-Learning Guru ( lots of information 
about e-learning

*	tele-task archive ( provides
many tele-lectures particularly about Internet- and WWW-technology and

*	Support Insight ( daily e-learning
stories, international interest

*	Schoolnet (
e-learning stories, European perspective, schools and education system

*	eLearningpost ( daily e-learning stories

*	Comunidad E-learning Workshops (
E-learning news and resources in Spanish for Spain and Latin America.

*	me-Learning ( Makers of me-Learning
management simulation courseware series and the ALEAS simulation

*	elearnspace ( E-learning, knowledge
management, communities, and networks - news and resources

*	Skills & More ( European eLearning
Consulting Group, specialists in eLearning, blended learning and
change management of eLearning projects

*University of Tennessee: Internet eLearning Institute

*	No Child Left Behind Technology Leadership Summit: Increasing
Options Through eLearning

*	eLearning Acupuncture ( A blog
which examines eLearning technology from an andragogical perspective.


E-learning tools and software:

*	Very large free software platform list
- Although in Spanish, the list can be browsed easily.

*	LRN ( is open source software and a development
kit for supporting innovation in collaborative education and learning
and research communities.

*	Moodle - PHP-based, free software (GNU-GPL)

*	Segue ( - Developed at Middlebury College,
PHP-based, free software (GNU-GPL)

*	ILIAS ( - free software (GNU-GPL)

*	Claroline ( - PHP-based, free software (GNU-GPL)

*	Dokeos ( - PHP-based, free software (GNU-GPL)

*	OpenUSS: platform itself ( and sourceforge
site ( - Java J2EE

*	aTutor ( PHP-based, free software (GNU-GPL),
course generator


Commercial e-learning platforms:

*	Learning Management System

*	WebCT (

*	BlackBoard (

*	NetDimensions' EKP learning management system

* (

*	Hyperwave (

*	Learn eXact (

*	eCollege (

*	K12 (

*	Apex Learning (

*	tele-TASK (


Comparisons of e-learning platforms:

*	Maricopa - Web Courseware Comparisons and Studies

*	EduTools - Course Management Systems Comparison

*	XPLANA - Open Source Courseware - Evaluation and Rating


Google Search Terms:

e-learning or elearning
"impact of elearning"
"e-learning technologies"
"e-learning programs" or "elearning software"
"what is e-learning"


Thanks again for the question. Please request clarification if you
need further assistance with your question.

Best regards,
Anthony (adiloren-ga)

Clarification of Answer by adiloren-ga on 05 Feb 2005 08:50 PST
Here is an interesting article on E-learning that I saw while
researching another question.

Learning by Doing: Don't dissect the frog, build it
Nicholas Negroponte
zhreish-ga rated this answer:3 out of 5 stars
The answer is not bad at all.. It contains everything.. But in a
crowded way.. I wish if it could be more organized, so the user can
understand it more.. I think for the ammount of money paid.. It should
be more easier for the user to work with...

Subject: Re: E-Learning
From: jlws-ga on 09 Mar 2005 15:00 PST
Here's a helpful whitepaper from Allen Communication, a pioneer in
e-learning development:

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