From Academic Kids

Missing image
Typical Managed Learning Environment with a navigation menu and online community building tools.

E-learning most often means an approach to facilitate and enhance learning through the use of devices based on computer and communications technology. Such devices would includepersonal computers, CDROMs, Digital Television, P.D.A.s and Mobile Phones. Communications technology enables the use of the Internet, email, discussion forums, and collaborative software.

E-learning may also be used to support distance learning through the use of WANs (Wide area networks), and may also be considered to be a form of flexible learning where just-in-time learning is possible. Courses can be tailored to specific needs and asynchronous learning is possible. Where learning occurs exclusively online, this is called online education. When learning is distributed to mobile devices such as cell phones or PDAs, it is called M-learning.


Supporting learning online

Some view e-learning as a means to effective or efficient learning, due to its ease of access and the pace being determined by the learner. Others point out that that e-learning software developers tend to limit their focus on course delivery and content, while online education institutions require a much wider range of educational services.

E-learning systems such as Moodle often work towards a student-centred learning solution, building upon a social-constructivist pedagogy.

Blended learning

Typical  with a navigation menu and icons giving access to automated tools and content pages.
Typical Managed Learning Environment with a navigation menu and icons giving access to automated tools and content pages.

Not every e-learning resource, usage or provision is necessarily 'exclusively e-learning', sometimes a hybrid 'blended learning' solution is available, either combining distance learning with direct contact 'close at hand' human educational resources, or combining software driven resources with human intervention (whether remote or local, computer mediated [such as through email or chat] or non-computer mediated [such as face to face or telephone] or combining software driven resources with any other educational resource [TV, radio, books, tapes, etc.])Advances in technology have allowed for the growth of collaborative web-based learning opportunities. Asynchronous activities use technologies such as blogs, wikis, and discussion boards, and allow participants to contribute when time allows. Synchronous activities occur with all participants joining in at once, as with a chat session or a virtual classroom or meeting such as those offered by WebEx, Elluminate and Centra.

On the practical side some e-learning is about organizing the topics to be taught and creating multimedia CD-ROMs or web sites. An important advantage is generally seen in the fact that hyperlinking is possible and having interactive parts illustrating difficult things or for doing exercises. In higher education especially, the increasing tendency is to create a Managed Learning Environment (MLE which is a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) combined with a Managed Information System (MIS)) in which all aspects of a course are handled through a consistent interface that is standard throughout an institution, giving students a consistent user interface.

Often a design approach is implemented which involves creating or re-using Learning Objects. These are self contained units properly tagged with keywords, or other metadata, and often stored in an XML file format. These are put in a database and creating a course requires putting together a sequence of learning objects.

Pedagogy of e-learning

One important point is to help teachers organize their pedagogical perspective. Some institutes for Higher education are devoted to this mission (training, counselling, funding, development, etc.).

More recent approaches focus on dialogue, interaction and collaborative activities - courses still contain content but it is of secondary importance or is generated by the students. An open source course management system that makes this approach easier is Moodle. This advocates Social-Constructivism as a pedagogical perspective, whereby learners construct their knowledge through discussion, thereby enhancing their thinking skills.

Organizing the content

  • For whom do we create e-learning content
  • What do they need to learn
  • How do we organize the content
  • Which tools / platform do we use? For creating? For delivering?

Instructional Design


Educational Blogging

With the advent of blogs, numerous educational experts routinely publish their personal explorations in this burgeoning field. Additionally, blogs are widely used in classrooms. See Educational Blogging (http://www.educause.edu/pub/er/erm04/erm0450.asp) by Stephen Downes. See also this list of educational bloggers (http://www.elearnspace.org/edutechblogs.htm) by George Siemens. See also the Educational Bloggers Network (http://www.ebn.weblogger.com/).

Creating media

Binding it together

Most often HTML is used to bind together the different e-learning media. Sometimes XML based files are created which are then rendered to HTML/CSS/JavaScript by using an XSLT transformation. However often proprietary technologies are used like Macromedia Director, an authoring tool, which leverages the JavaScript-like language called ActionScript to enable advanced functionality and interactivity.

One standard for representing e-learning content is SCORM whilst others are under draft (UKLOM).

See also

External links

First step in e-Learning (http://www.lersus.de/res/modules/en/lersus/content/content1.html)

E-Learning Experts

  • Michael Allen: creating engagement
  • Shail Arora (http://liveelearning.blogspot.com): Co-Founder and CEO of Gradepoint, Inc. For 7 years Shail has been involved in Synchronous eLearning
  • Jonathan Bishop: UK-based e-learning developer and evaluator. Creator of the PARLE System and e-learning development methodologies
  • Jane Bozarth (http://www.bozarthzone.com): inexpensive e-learning; reflective practice in e-learning; author, E-Learning Solutions on a Shoestring
  • Saul Carliner
  • Bryan Chapman: authoring tools, alignment of technology with learning strategies, learning objects, simulation design
  • Ruth Colvin Clark: "science" of online instruction; graphics; author, E-Learning and the Science of Instruction
  • Ted Cocheu (http://www.altuscorp.com): pioneered using streaming media to transfer knowledge quickly, popularized the term “Rapid eLearning”
  • Jay Cross (http://www.jaycross.com): informal learning, results measurement, corporate culture, training; coined the term "eLearning"
  • Stephen Downes (http://www.downes.ca): learning objects, learning networks, RSS in learning, educational blogs
  • Lance Dublin
  • Brandon Hall (http://www.brandonhall.com):whitepapers, product comparisons
  • Jennifer Hofmann (http://www.insynctraining.com): synchronous training; author
  • William Horton: tools and tips
  • Jane Knight (http://www.e-learningcentre.co.uk): editor of the e-Learning Centre, UK site, author Guide to e-Learning
  • Kevin Kruse (http://www.e-learningguru.com): e-learningguru; whitepapers, articles, etc
  • Elliot Masie
  • David Metcalf- Author, Blended eLearning, m-learning
  • Steve Molyneux (UK) (http://www.learninglab.org.uk): Virtual and Managed Learning Environment design; e-Learning strategies, Standards
  • Bob Mosher
  • Wolfram F. Spoenlein (http://www.skills-and-more.com/10759/10786.html) - change management and the successful integration of e-learning
  • Lisa Neal (http://www.eLearnMag.org): design and evaluation of online courses and online learning communities, focus on human-computer interaction
  • Matthew Nehrling (http://www.mlearningworld.com)- Mobile Learning (m-learning) researcher and author
  • George Piskurich
  • Dominic Prosser (http://www.imaginarium.co.uk): cultural heritage e-learning
  • Marc Rosenberg: "business" of e-learning
  • Gilly Salmon - Professor of e-Learning at the University of Leicester
  • Patti Shank: education in basics of e-learning and authoring; author, Making Sense of Online Learning
  • Clive Shepherd
  • Sivasailam Thiagarajan (http://www.thiagi.com), "Thiagi", games and facilitation strategies
  • Thomas Toth (http://www.tothweb.com): demystifying technology
  • Emiliano De Laurentiis: learning avatar paradigm
  • Yolanda Gayol. E-learning and international distance education

E-learning standards

  • SCORM (http://www.adlnet.org/) Reference Model (Most important standard)
  • IMS (http://www.imsproject.org) Series of XML Standards for e-learning
  • SIF (http://www.sifinfo.org) US k12 XML and Infrastructure specifications
  • IEEE P1484.12 (http://ltsc.ieee.org/wg12/) Learning Objects Metadata Standard
  • O.K.I. (http://www.okiproject.org/) The Open Knowledge Initiative; Standards for application/service functional interoperability.
  • A.I.C.C. (http://www.aicc.org/) Aviation Industry CBT (Computer-Based Training) Committee
  • SCORM (http://www.adlnet.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=scormabt) Sharable Courseware Object Reference Model - US military standard
  • CanCore (http://www.cancore.ca) - Canadian learning object metadata standard

e-learning platforms

  • Very large free software platform list (http://www.elearningworkshops.com/modules.php?name=Web_Links&l_op=viewlink&cid=27) - Although in Spanish, the list can be browsed easily.
  • e-Learning XHTML Editor (http://exe.cfdl.auckland.ac.nz) project - Developed at the University of Auckland, by the Centre for Flexible and Distance Learning (http://cfdl.auckland.ac.nz). Free/libre open source software (GNU-GPL), editing tool for teachers to publish web content that can be delivered via most e-learning platforms.
  • LRN (http://dotlrn.org/) 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 (http://segue.sf.net/) - Developed at Middlebury College, PHP-based, free software (GNU-GPL)
  • ILIAS (http://www.ilias.de/ios/index.html) - free software (GNU-GPL)
  • Claroline (http://www.claroline.net/) - PHP-based, free software (GNU-GPL)
  • Dokeos (external site (http://www.dokeos.com/)) - PHP-based, free software (GNU-GPL): course management and collaboration platform.
  • OpenUSS: platform itself (http://www.openuss.org/) and sourceforge site (http://openuss.sourceforge.net/openuss/index.html) - Java J2EE
  • aTutor (http://www.aTutor.ca/) PHP-based, free software (GNU-GPL), course generator
  • interact (http://www.interactlms.org) - Interact is an Online Learning and Collaboration platform developed by the Christchurch College of Education, New Zealand. PHP, Apache, and MySQL based.
  • Sakai (http://www.sakaiproject.org/) - The Sakai Project is a community source software development effort to design, build and deploy a new Collaboration and Learning Environment (CLE) for higher education.
  • KEWL.Nextgen (http://www.kngforge.uwc.ac.za/) - Part of the (Africa Virtual Intitiatives and Resourse) AVOIR project's work. KEWL.Nextgen is an advanced web-based system with extensive features. Still under active development. PHP, Apache, and MySQL based.
  • EduTools (http://www.edutools.info/course/compare/byproduct/index.jsp) - LMS comparison
  • OLAT [1] (http://www.olat.org) - Open source Learning Management System. Winner of MeDiDa-Prix 2000. Java based, developed by University of Zurich (http://www.unizh.ch/mels) since 1999.
  • Bazaar (http://bazaar.athabascau.ca/) - Open Source Learning Management System. Written in Perl.

Free software / Open source (FLOSS) pedagogical tools for collaborative learning

  • Fle3 (http://fle3.uiah.fi) - Zope / Python -based, free software (GNU-GPL)

Commercial e-learning platforms

Missing image
Typical Lersus e-Learning authoring tool.

Commercial e-learning tools

Software Comparison

  • How do you Compile (http://www.cs-ed.org/blogs/mjadud/archives/000556.html) review by Matt Jadud's blog comparing software systems and social impact
  • Maricopa (http://www.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/ocotillo/courseware/compare.html) Comparison and studies of Web based courseware
  • EduTools (http://www.edutools.info/course) Course management system comparison
  • XPLANA (http://www.xplana.com/whitepapers/archives/Open_Source_Courseware) Evaluation and rating of Open Source courseware
  • Virtual-Learning  (http://www.virtual-learning.at) LMS and LCMS evaluation carried out for the Austrian Government (German Text)

Other related links

Portal offering Learning Materials, Courseware

Several initiatives exist all over the internet to share learning content or to increase the visibility of existing learning objects. Most of them are totally free of charge.

  • Ariadne (software) is a European Association open to the World, for Knowledge Sharing and Reuse, E-Learning for all.
  • EducaNext (http://www.educanext.org) a multilingual, academic exchange portal where members of higher education, research organisations, and professional communities can go to share, retrieve, and reuse learning resources.
  • MIT OpenCourseWare (http://ocw.mit.edu) is an iniative of the MIT to put online for free all their course materials.

E-learning web resources

  • Brandon Hall Research (http://www.brandon-hall.com) Research on e-learning best practices, tools and technology.
  • M-Learning Education and Tools (http://www.mlearningworld.com)
  • LIVE or Synchronous e-learning Blog (http://liveelearning.blogspot.com) Shared experiences from implementing LIVE e-learning
  • Schools Interoprability Framework(SIF) (http://www.sifinfo.org) is the k12 XML data and infrastructure standard supporting k12 educational technology in the US
  • Learning Circuits (http://www.learningcircuits.org) latest e-learning developments, US emphasis
  • Rapid eLearning News (http://rapid-elearning.blogspot.com) A blog that speaks common sense about workplace learning and why new approaches are needed
  • Stephen's Web (http://www.downes.ca) e-learning and related technology, includes the widely read OLDaily e-learning newsletter
  • e-Learning Centre (http://www.e-learningcentre.co.uk) a large collection of selected and reviewed links to e-learning resources
  • e-Learning Guru (http://www.e-learningguru.com) lots of information about e-learning
  • tele-task archive (http://www.tele-task.de/en/topics.php) provides many tele-lectures particularly about Internet- and WWW-technology and security
  • Support Insight (http://www.supportinsight.com) daily e-learning stories, international interest
  • European Schoolnet (http://www.eun.org/eun.org2/eun/en/index_news.html) e-learning stories, European perspective, schools and education system emphasis
  • eLearningpost (http://www.elearningpost.com/) daily e-learning stories, US emphasis
  • Comunidad E-learning Workshops (http://www.elearningworkshops.com) E-learning news and resources in Spanish for Spain and Latin America.
  • me-Learning (http://www.me-learning.net/) Makers of me-Learning management simulation courseware series and the ALEAS simulation framework
  • elearnspace (http://www.elearnspace.org) E-learning, knowledge management, communities, and networks - news and resources
  • English Grammar Online (http://www.ego4u.com/) free exercises, explanations, games and teaching materials on English as a foreign language
  • Skills & More (http://www.skills-and-more.com/) European eLearning Consulting Group, specialists in eLearning, blended learning and change management of eLearning projects
  • No Child Left Behind Technology Leadership Summit: Increasing Options Through eLearning (http://www.nclbtechsummits.org/summit2/s2-presentations.asp)
  • eLearning Acupuncture (http://erictremblay.blogspot.com) A blog which examines eLearning technology from an andragogical perspective.
  • Bozarthzone.com (http://www.bozarthzone.com) Site devoted to cost-cutting strategies for building or buying e-learning solutions.
  • TrainingResourceLibrary.com (http://www.trainingresourcelibrary.com) Capsulized information about a variety of elearning terms.pt:E-learning

da:E-learning de:E-Learning eo:E-lerno es:E-learning fr:E-formation gl:E-learning it:E-learning nl:E-learning no:E-læring nn:E-læring [[pl:E-learning]1] zh:虚拟教研


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