What is E-learning? Definition and examples

E-learning refers to a learning system that we can obtain through the internet using an electronic device. We also call it online learning or online education. The ‘E’ in E-learning stands for ‘Electronic.’ Hence, the original term ‘electronic learning.’

The word ‘online,’ in this context, means with an Internet connection or via the Internet.

The term may also refer to a network that can provide knowledge and skills to one or more individuals. The network can provide the knowledge or skills either to everyone simultaneously or individually.

ALLENCOMM says the following regarding the term:

“E-learning is training provided via a computer or other digital device, allowing technology to facilitate learning anytime, anywhere.”


E-learning initial resistance

When the Internet first started, people were skeptical about this type of education.

However, as technology and learning systems improved, studying online became more popular. Today, millions of people study online all over the world.

Goodbye paper – hello devices

Subsequently, schools have replaced physical books with digital content that students can easily access on their electronic devices.

Not only has E-learning benefited companies and schools, but also millions of workers.

E-Learning
Thanks to E-Learning, today we can study for a degree no matter where we are. (Quote: University of Edinburgh)

Employers keen on e-learning

Companies are more willing to give their employees access to coaching or courses. They are more willing for two main reasons:

  • Several people can receive the educational material simultaneously.
  • People can study without having to physically go to a college, i.e., without have to leave the workplace.

E-learning platforms

People can do an online course via a wide variety of different platforms, such as:

  • MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses), e.g. Coursera or Futurelearn.
  • Virtual learning environment (VLE), such as Learn or Blackboard.
  • Video streaming services, such as YouTube.
  • Virtual instructor-led training (VILT), e.g. WebEx or webinars.
  • Discussion boards.
  • Forums.
  • Podcasts.

MOOCs stands for Massive Online Open Courses. They are free online programs that several colleges offer. Even some of the world’s most famous and prestigious universities use them.

Some programs allow you to pay for the certification of the course. These courses can count as college credits, while others have value in the job market.


Ideal for many people

E-learning can be useful for people who work a full-time job. They are also great for full-time caregivers (UK: carers) and others who cannot physically get to a school regularly.

Also, instead of paying for a whole degree, you can access just the course you require.


Video – What is E-learning

This video explains what E-learning is. The speaker talks about Hannah, who wants to offer training to different people in various parts of Indonesia. Reaching them all is not easy, especially in an island nation.