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What is eLearning?

by Ron Kurtus (revised 24 January 2012)

Learning conducted via electronic media, typically on the internet.

Definition: A learning system based on formalised teaching but with the help of electronic resources is known as E-learning. While teaching can be based in or out of the classrooms, the use of computers and the Internet forms the major component of E-learning.

What are the types of E-learning? Synchronous eLearning is when the learners and the instructor interact with each other in real time, from different locations. Asynchronous eLearning is when learners complete self-paced online training. In this case, the learner and the instructor are not online at the same time.




eLearning (or e-learning) is a catch-all term that covers a wide range of instructional material that can be delivered on a CD-ROM or DVD, over a local area network (LAN), or on the Internet. It includes Computer-Based Training (CBT), Web-Based Training (WBT), Electronic Performance Support Systems (EPSS), distance or online learning and online tutorials. The major advantage to students is its easy access.

There are some typical elements and a standard approach to developing or authoring eLearning material.

eLearning, or electronic learning, is the delivery of learning and training through digital resources. Although eLearning is based on formalized learning, it is provided through electronic devices such as computers, tablets and even cellular phones that are connected to the internet. This makes it easy for users to learn anytime, anywhere, with few, if any, restrictions.

Basically, eLearning is training, learning, or education delivered online through a computer or any other digital device.

Online learning is basically e-learning that takes place over the Internet.




Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.

eLearning provides easy access

eLearning provides the student or learner with information that can be accessed in a setting free from time and place constraints. The student can go through the lessons at his or her own pace.

In many cases—especially in a CBT delivered on a CD-ROM—the material is media-rich information, including such multimedia forms as audio and video.

The progress and achievement of the student can be assessed in eLearning, with custom feedback and evaluation available in an interactive environment.

Typical elements

Typical elements of eLearning material comes from good instructional design and is similar to what is used in training and educational classes:

Authoring approach

Instructional authoring of eLearning, CBT or WBT material requires a methodical approach. 


eLearning encompasses CBT, WBT and other electronic delivery forms of training and teaching. The authoring of eLearning must be done methodically, considering the user interface and effective transfer of knowledge.

Have an attitude of helping others with your skills

Resources and references

Ron Kurtus' Credentials


How E-learning Works - From

E-learning - From Wikipedia

What is eLearning? - Good overview from eLearning Consulting

What is E-Learning? - From WorldWideLearning/com

Online learning is education that takes place over the Internet. It is often referred to as “elearning” among other terms. However, online learning is just one type of “distance learning” - the umbrella term for any learning that takes place across distance and not in a traditional classroom.

eLearning Resources


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Top-rated books on eLearning

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