If you take a survey among your friends or at work, you will easily realize that e-learning is not very well known in Ontario and its surroundings. The more sophisticated will doubtlessly tell you “Quiz”, “serious game” or asynchronous training. However, in all cases, it is a remote training. And if that vision was a bit outdated? Or based on a misunderstanding? Let’s focus on what eLearning really is.

What are the key principles of eLearning?

The concept of e-learning was broadcast from 1990’s, but was only concentrated on university and school environments (educational websites, forums, and groupwares). The e-learning quickly spread in the field of vocational training in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. Since then, the first platforms LMS (Learning Management System) started to appear. The objective behind was to aim to bring together educational content and administer the users of these contents. Online learning, then, became a quite acclaimed network and its content will diversify over the years: interactive videos, serious games, rapid learning, quizzes upstream/downstream, etc. The forms typology of e-learning does not stop increasing and designers are full of inventiveness. Since the advent of Web 2.0, social learning has emerged with a much less strong emphasis on production content than on the interaction between users.

Why are we talking about eLearning?

The e-learning field is now overwhelmingly dominated by platforms to the detriment of content publishers. However, it is difficult to know the real reasons of why we talk about e-learning. It was initially a purely commercial purpose, since the market has been exploited mostly by platforms. As a result, the most successful players in the field are unsurprisingly those who offered a platform usage. It has to be said that social learning is not going to help reversing the trend. Also another social reason is the web explosion during the 90’s. Thus all that is useful, is necessarily online. Besides, there was a reason of comfort behind because it was easier to separate the face-to-face from distance learning. Nowadays, training by video has taken a particular importance in the e-learning field as being much more comprehensive.

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