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What is e-Learning?

E-Learning is a term used to describe the delivery of content or training using technology or electronic media as the delivery method. E-Learning can be delivered via the Internet, Extranet, Web Meeting, CD-Rom, Video Conferencing, etc. It can include text, graphics, video, audio, animation, simulated environments and is used to describe e-Learning education (content only) as well as e-Learning training (content, application and feedback).

E-Learning education provides the delivery or presentation of content and includes:

  • Repositories of knowledge that are accessed electronically, e.g. Knowledge portals and resources on websites, LANs, WANs, etc.
  • Electronic databases of knowledge or information that provide answers to questions, explanations… for instance, Ask Jeeves and How Stuff Works.
  • Online support tools and resources, such as electronic job aids, message boards, on-line forums, “Ask the Expert” amongst others.

E-Learning training also provides learners with the opportunity to apply the knowledge presented to check for their understanding or learning. It can be delivered synchronously or asynchronously.

  • Asynchronous training is self-paced instruction, where the solitary learner completes the training module(s) at his or her own pace, at a time and schedule that suits. Asynchronous training does not require live interaction with an instructor or other learners. Typically, these training modules are delivered via Internet, Intranet/Extranet, or CD-ROM.
  • Synchronous training is where multiple learners receive the same training at the same time. The training is generally broadcast to all the learners at the same time using a web-based meeting application for the visual link to the materials and/or PowerPoint presentation and using a conference phone connection for the audio link or connection.