Out of curiosity, I Googled “eLearning definition” and this is what comes up:


Personally, I have a bit of a problem with this definition, primarily the “self-motivation” part. If someone feels they are not self-motivated then the can’t do eLearning (“effectively” has to be defined here, too)? Has the writer of this definition tried any good eLearning courses recently? Good instructional designers and developers can help unmotivated people find motivation, and people who can’t would not do well in any learning setting.

Fifteen years ago I might have been okay with this definition and the graph of number of eLearning mentions (remember, the Internet as we know it wasn’t around until the late 90s). According to the graph,  the term “eLearning” barely existed 15 years ago, but this way of learning still existed. Although it wasn’t labeled “eLearning” Dale Carnegie, Stephen Covey, and Zig Ziglar’s “automobile university” (listening to tapes and 8-tracks while driving) from the 50s on could have that label (if labelled anything, people probably called it “distance education”).

I’m more in tune with the fourth hit on Google’s list by Tony Bates: “all computer and Internet-based activities that support teaching and learning – both on-campus and at a distance.”

Tony has also considered dropping the E from eLearning. I thinks it’s equivalent to cDriving, bSleeping, pFlying. E is the way people learn these days so it’s redundant. But, that’s another debate. If you know what the E in eLearning stands for then you can figure out c, b and p.

I would like to hear what you think about this definition.


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