e-learning definition

e-Learning what is it

e-Learning: What is it?

The standard answer to the question is usually “learning on the computer”. We think: e-learning has to be much more to be effective.

Hardly any question has accompanied us for as long as “e-learning, what is it actually?”. At the beginning of our work as an e-learning provider, we were often asked this question by relatives who had very little to do with the profession of their nephews or grandchildren. But this question is also implicit in discussions with entrepreneurs who want to reorganize continuing education in their companies. That’s why we want to give a detailed answer in this blogpost. Strictly speaking, even three answers: We provide a basic definition, then devote ourselves to the specific characteristics of e-learning, and finally explain how we at skillbest understand e-learning.

e-Learning: What is it? - The basics

e-Learning or electronic learning, as it is commonly defined, means learning that is supported by electronic or digital media. As an e-learning provider with many years of experience in the industry, we are bothered by the little word “supported” in this basal definition. In our opinion, learning is not only supported by media, but expanded and made possible in the first place. The e-learning expert Michael Kerres has the following answer to the question “e-learning, what is it?” he understands e-learning as “all forms of learning that use electronic or digital media for the presentation and distribution of learning materials and/or support of interpersonal communication”. Kerres goes a bit further in his definition, in our opinion there is still one important point missing in this basic definition: the content. For us, e-learning primarily means providing adequate content that was designed for learning in the digital space in the first place. More about that later.

e-Learning: What is it? - Interactivity, multimedia, multimodality

As we have already indicated in our comments above, e-learning must be more than just translating classroom content, such as presentation slides or lectures, into digital form. e-Learning is characterized by a number of features that put digital learning ahead of traditional learning. One of these features is interactivity. Learners do not remain in a passive role, but can actively intervene in the learning process. This works, for example, through decision trees that give learners choices or the integration of an e-learning quiz. Another asset of e-learning is its multimedia nature. Learning content can be presented and conveyed using various media – e-books, computers/laptops, smartphones, etc. – and media formats – texts, images, videos, audio recordings, etc. – in a variety of ways. ¬- can be presented and communicated. This brings us to the third central characteristic of e-learning: multimodality. This means that several senses are addressed during the learning process. By addressing the auditory and visual senses simultaneously, as in training videos, for example, learning content is conveyed more effectively and internalized better by learners.

e-Learning: What is it? - Our answer

Almost two decades of experience in the e-learning industry have allowed us to find our very own answer to the question. We have translated this answer into our corporate philosophy. And that, in a nutshell, is: People before media. For us, e-learning is primarily about learners, their needs and learning objectives. Based on this, we then develop e-didactic concepts and implement them with adequate methods under the highest technical standards. This in-house e-learning definition may sound a bit abstract at first. However, the skillbest approach becomes clearer when you take a look at our innovative e-learning formats and best practices or get in touch with us. Maybe together we will find an even better answer to the question “e-Learning, what is it?” when we successfully implement your e-learning project.