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Defining E-Learning: Whose Definition is Correct?

During the late 1990's, several scholars predicted that the e-learning phenomenon would become the dominant instructional tool for the university. Students use technologies for entertainment so the natural assumption would be that educational technologies would be readily accepted; however, e-learning as a pedagogical tool has had several challenges to overcome both from faculty and students. According to Sarah Guri-Rosenbilt and Begona Gros in the article E-Learning: Confusing Terminology, Research Gaps and Inherent Challenges, Guri-Rosenbilt and Gros believe an over-arching definition of e-learning and significant institutional research would help universities determine whether e-learning is truly a cost effective instructional tool.

In this article published in The Journal of Distance Education, Guri-Rosenbilt and Gros discuss the lack of a coherent definition for e-learning. E-learning can cover anything from an educational DVD to a highly advanced online learning platform depending on who is using the term. Another challenge for e-learning is the pedagogical practice of student-centered learning. While many students use the internet for entertainment, they may not possess the abilities to harness the internet's vast knowledge sources for learning. Finally, Guri-Rosenbilt and Gros point out several areas of e-learning research, specifically in institutional research, that need to be addressed so that e-learning can become a more efficient tool.

 

You can read more at E-Learning: Confusing Terminology, Research Gaps and Inherent Challenges

 

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