eLearning: the Journey So Far

eLearning: the Journey So Far
eLearning: the Journey So Far
January 23, 2017

The concept of e-learning is blazing the trail in the twenty-first century but it is sad to find people who still do not have a clue of what it entails. eLearning seems to be the meeting point between education technology and distance learning. The two closely related fields have hitherto searched for a means to enhance education over a century ago.

eLearning is a crucial part of dynamic educational system

Defining e-learning has not been particularly easy because there always seem to be a bias depending on the direction the person is looking at it from. Jay Cross in 1990 has been held in high esteem to having coined the term but as the trend continued to grow and diversifications made, experts in the field of education are beginning to come up with new definitions.

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Recent definitions tend to narrow elearning to computer based learning

One of the striking definitions of elearning is that it is a learning facilitated and supported through the use of information and communication technology. Simply put, computer, other technological devices, and the Internet have to be involved for any learning to be regarded as e-learning. The only merging point of the various definitions is that they all agree that it is free from the constraint of time and space.

There are three essential dimensions to elearning

For any learning platform to be regarded as elearning in recent times, it has to fulfill three key dimensions namely: technology (the Internet and other technological devices have to be exploited in the learning process and the lesson must be delivered digitally), access (it has to be accessible to a wide range of people irrespective of their place of residence), and quality (this is one area that cannot be undermined).

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eLearning has become competitive in a few years

In only a few years, the field of e-learning has carved out a niche for itself. It has become more competitive than ever in the twenty-first century; competitive in terms of the quality of education, the diversity of courses that can be offered and the cost of learning. Renowned universities around the globe are beginning to associate with the program.

The current trend in elearning is that of social learning

The practice of e-learning is becoming a social affair. This is an area where e-learning has witnessed tremendous growth in recent times. The concept is very easy and what it does is to allow students learn through social interaction – something akin to being on social media. The benefit of this form of learning is that it makes learning fun while expanding the student’s contact.

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Open-source initiative became popular in 1998

In 1998, a group of engineers came together to create a software which they termed open-source in the sense that anyone can access the software and modify it for free. The idea was to make the program better. The most widely used of them all today is Wikipedia which has been nicknamed the online encyclopedia. The rate of growth of this online open source is 10 edits per second and as much as 750 articles per day.

One of the emerging trends in elearning is mobile learning

The current trends can help us project the direction learning is going and what height would be attained in the future. There are so many papers that have tried to look into the trends but one burning area that is gaining momentum is the concept of mobile learning which makes use of handheld devices such as mobile phones, tablets and so on. All in all, the future of e-learning is bright.

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Article highlights

  • eLearning is the intersection between education technology and distant learning.
  • Defining the concept of elearning has not been easy.
  • Different people define elearning from their point of view.
  • In recent times, elearning means learning with a computer and the Internet.
  • The future of elearning is bright with mobile learning.
  • eLearning has to have a wide access.
  • The quality of elearning programs remains a major issue.
  • eLearning has become competitive in terms of cost, diversity, and quality.
  • The concept of social learning makes learning fun.
  • Open-source software was created in 1998 to aid learning.

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