Expanding on the Definition and Origins of eLearning

Posted by Bongani Khoza

Boghikian-whitby and Mortagy refer to “learning as often the result of student activities, while teaching mainly the instructors activities (Joyce, 2004).

Researching the history and development of eLearning in Higher Education, suggest that the principles that inform eLearning existed as far back as 1924. The term e-learning / eLearning itself has been around since 1999. Since its inception the eLearning term and its application in Higher Education (HE) has already garnered a vast amount of history, background and development. The rise of distance and part-time study has been influenced by the development of educational technologies by incorporating existing and innovative ICT technologies to support the part – time and distance learning student. The non-traditional part-time and distant learning student can therefore be accredited to forcing educational institutions to develop a variety of flexible delivery models for teaching and administration to non-traditional learners

eLearning therefore refers to the era in which the identification and harnessing of appropriate ICT systems and educational technologies are adopted, integrated and form the basis upon which Higher Education Institutions operate and compete. eLearning is both able and capable of influencing pedagogy to adapt, adopt as its focus is learner-centricity is identified by Williams and Goldberg as a key facet in the knowledge economy, which itself is characterized by learning institutions, and learning management systems.

The current form of eLearning is in part designed to some extent to heavily depend on technological advances and innovations, in the hope of encouraging both teaching staff, administrators and learners to engage in appropriate active learning activities, in order to meet their desired course learning objectives, and learning outcomes. The learning activities of eLearning attempt to rejoice the focus put on learners and learning through the use of educational technologies and emerging pedagogies that offer opportunities for exciting learning in the present and the future.

To conclude eLearning draws on traditional and new teaching pedagogies by incorporating new and emerging ICTs, which together continually transform learning landscapes. The outcome is eLearning which is a “pedagogy that is interactive, engaging, and capable of producing deep learning outcomes for a greatly expanded population of learners, locally, nationally and increasingly, globally.” (Williams and Goldberg, 2005: 725)

Posted by Bongani Khoza










July 2, 2015

3 responses on "Expanding on the Definition and Origins of eLearning"

  1. One of the words that stands out in the blog is ‘technology’. The rapid pace at which technology is developing and changing is having an impact on e-learning.

  2. I find that there is a huge disparity from when tech is launched and the time it gets to be used by people who might benefit from such awesome new technologies, that has a huge effect on how fast we are able to catch up to the rest of the world

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