WikiEdProfessional eLearning Guidebook/An Overview/Definition and scope
E-learning is commonly referred to the intentional use of networked information and communications technology in teaching and learning. A number of other terms are also used to describe this mode of teaching and learning. They include online learning, virtual learning, distributed learning, network and web-based learning. Fundamentally, they all refer to educational processes that utilize information and communications technology to mediate asynchronous as well as synchronous learning and teaching activities. On closer scrutiny, however, it will be clear that these labels refer to slightly different educational processes and as such they cannot be used synonymously with the term e-learning.
The term e-learning comprises a lot more than online learning, virtual learning, distributed learning, networked or web-based learning. As the letter “e” in e-learning stands for the word “electronic”, e-learning would incorporate all educational activities that are carried out by individuals or groups working online or offline, and synchronously or asynchronously via networked or standalone computers and other electronic devices. These various types or modalities of e-learning activity are represented in Table 1 (see also Romiszowski, 2004).
|Individualized self-paced e-learning online||Individualized self-paced e-learning offline|
|Group-based elearning synchronouosly||Group-based elearning asynchronouosly|