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Further reading on E-learning

UNESCO-UNEVOC has compiled a short selection of academic or professional articles that might help to clarify the signification and the use of the term "E-learning"). It goes thus beyond the definitions stored in TVETipedia while not pretending to offer an exhaustive bibliography on the topic.

Do you know about relevant resources that could be added to the list ? Please contact us or share it on our e-Forum!

e-Learning, online learning, and distance learning environments: Are they the same ? By J.L Moore, C. Dickson-Dean, K. Galyen, University of Missouri (2010)

This academic article introduces most of the challenges faced in defining e-learning, and it does so through a rather original approach: The authors asked participants of an international conference on education how they would define e-learning in comparison to similar concepts like distance learning or web-learning.

In the selected quotes, the authors first review the literature, highlighting that the technologies behind the ‘e’ of ‘e-learning’, the role of pedagogy, and even the spelling of the term greatly vary from a study to another. However, practitionners are as divided as academics when it comes to define e-learning, as the answer to the first question of their survey(“Is there a difference between distance learning, e-Learning, and online learning?”) tends to demonstrate.

E-learning: A guidebook of principles, procedures and practices By COL (2006)

While the previous article focused on the “e” of e-learning, this reference brings “learning” in the thinking. It is a “guide” from the Common Wealth of Learning addressed to stakeholders. It was not recently published (2006) but its approach ("highlight the important issues, to ask the key questions and to tease the reader into independent thought”) and its definition of e-learning (including online/offline, synchronous/asynchronous learning) are not outdated.

In the selected quotes, the authors raise the old question: Do technologies influence learning? They answer by reviewing a hundred year of academic debate on the impact of media in learning, before integrating “e-learning” into it.

JISC e-learning models desk study: review of e-learning theories, framework and models By T.Mayes, S. de Freitas (2004) and Does e-learning require a new theory of learning? By R. Andrews (2011)

The previous reference highlighted that “e-learning” is not just about the use of ICT in education (for the sake of saving cost, increasing flexibility etc.). It is also about the potential impact of those new media on the learning process. Those two academic reviews push the thinking a step further and wonder about the proportion of this impact: Does e-learning means a new “model of pedagogy”? Or is it only a synonym to “technology-enhanced learning”? Both references come from reliable sources (JISC is a British government-funded charity, acting at national scale;JERO is a non-profit peer-reviewed German journal). Both use a broad and similar definition of e-learning (including online and offline learning). And both defend rather opposed stands on the matter. Note that there is a clear difference of tone between those two resources, since the JISC is a review directly addressed to stakeholders while the article from R. Andrew gathers “thoughts” based on the author’s previous research and experience.

In the selected quotes, both references explain their lines, the JISC study standing for a “technology-enhanced” e-learning and R. Andrews for a new “e-learning pedagogy”.

E-learning in the work-place, an annotated bibliography By New Zealand Ministry of Education (2015)

All of the previous references focused on E-learning in education but the term is also much in-used in the world of work. The present reference is a massive annotated bibliography on the matter . The researchers followed a broad definition of e-learning (learning with support of ICT) that includes online and offline processes but excludes all work-based learning for students (internships, apprenticeships etc.). The focus is entirely on e-learning for employer/employee.

In the selected quotes, the researchers highlight the rational and expectations that employers put behind “e-learning”

See also

This article is an element of the TVETipedia Glossary.

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