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WORK LIFE - JARGON BUSTER

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What is E-learning ...
What is E-learning

The traditional definition of e-learning is that it must be web enabled and asynchronous - the advantage of this being the ability to study at any pace or place, and any time.

However, virtual classrooms and other forms of communication, like chatrooms, are becoming the norm. Other forms of media, such as video conferencing have also entered the fray.

Roger Delves, programme director at Cranfield School of Management's Centre for Customised Executive Development, says the definitions of the terms are constantly changing. 'Any form of teaching that involves face-to-face tuition as well as the web would be defined as blended learning,' he says. 'It's not just a question of which media you are using. Many blended development schedules include web-based programmes, face-to-face tuition, coaching and experiential learning.'

However, the clash of technologies could be bringing the definitions to a head, he says. As blended learning becomes more synchronous than asynchronous the original advantage of e-learning - the time management flexibility it gave the student - is eroded.

Mr Delves adds: 'The whole selling point of e-learning was that it gave people the freedom to do their work whenever it suited them. With chat rooms or virtual classrooms, everyone has to attend at the same time.'

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