E-learning concepts - Table of Content


Aims of learning Learning Objectives

When you have completed this session, you should be able to

• Describe the differences between e-learning 1.0 and e-learning 2.0,
• compare functionality of Moodle with a requirements definition for an e-learning system.

e-Learning Systems

Computer Based Training (CBT ) is not a new idea. In 1967 – more than 40 years ago – the US Computing Report magazine [1] reported that astronauts who participated in Apollo mission practiced first on simulators before undertaking the task they had to accomplish in reality. In the 60s computer controlled simulator programs were also used to train civil and air force pilots.
Even in those days, teachers were worried about students spending too much time in front of the computers. Anthony Oettinger, Professor of Harvard University, expressed his thoughts in 1967 as “They are not afraid of computers at all. All the more the problem is, rather, how to save them from becoming hostages of the computer.”

The widespread use of Internet and the improvements of multimedia systems have made educational applications more dynamic. By early 90s CBT migrated into today’s e-learning. In 2004 e-learning 2.0 became a major focus and nowadays there is even mention of e-learning 3.0.

According to the most widely used definition e-learning is an Definitioneducational form that uses the tools of information and communication technology (ICT) for improving the efficiency of education and training.

The table below describes the most important stages of e-learning development.
As with computer generations, timing definitions are approximate. However the demarcation line between e-learning 1.0 and e-learning 2.0 is unusually clear. In e-learning 1.0 system students read, listen and adopt. They have limited options for interactivity, except in the area of simulations, or multiuser games. In the era of e-learning 2.0 there are innumerable tools to generate interactivity, for exchanging and sharing knowledge through the internet. Self-organized learning communities are also now rapidly developing, where there is a blurring of the difference between ‘teachers’ and ‘students’.

e-learning trend

The golden age of e-learning systems (the LMS and LCMS type systems) lasted from the early 90s until the Web 2.0 tools started to appear. Many people predict that the age of strictly teacher centric ‘virtual schools’ may be over. In fact more and more educational institutions now create their own e-learning systems. Moodle is a good example of this type of framework being used, with more than 47,000 validated sites in more than 208 countries (moodle.org/stats/) in 2010. While in the 90s development tended to represent a huge amount of capital finance for institutions, in the era of 2.0 capital cost-free solutions are becoming commonplace.
It appears that many institutions are adopting systems which tend to incorporate e-learning 2.0 systems.

The characteristics that an e-learning 2.0 system exhibit are as follows:


1. Learning environments should not create a closed ‘isolated system’. They should be open to, and interoperable with, other systems and solutions.


2. Teachers and students should cooperate in the development of the environment. Students should have the option to integrate external tools used by them. Teachers and students should work on the same platform with the same tools. Students should get the opportunity to create and share new lessons.
3. Participants should be able to tag their own contents freely. They should be able to develop their own taxonomy reflecting those parts of lessons which interest them most.


4. Learning environments should support participative activity in a user-friendly manner.
5. Learning environments should support developing communities, and should provide options for participants to get to know each other.
6. Teachers should be present in the learning environment. In addition to creating study materials they should emphasize organizing conversations and exchanging experiences

Tracking, evaluations, feed back:

7. Teachers/Administrators should have the functionality to track the learning of individual participants.
8. Teachers/Administrators should provide options for feed back.
9. e-Learning systems should provide functionality participants to reflect on their learning.
10. Learners should have the option to express their opinions about the content offered.

Practice Exercise

1. Based on your experience in the Tenegen learning environment, write a report in your learning diary, on how well this environment meets the requirements listed above for eLearning 2.0.

2. Find an online resource on the web which could help other students in their learning. Write your suggestion into your learning diary!


1. Frederic G. Withington: The Real Computer: Its Influence, Uses and Effects, Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1969)

2. Ingo Blees and Marc Rittberger: Web 2.0 Learning Environment: Concept, Implementation, Evaluation, German Institute for International Educational Research (eLearning Papers • www.elearningpapers.eu • 1 Nº 15 • June 2009 • ISSN 1887-1542)

3. Bryan Holmes, John Gardner: E-learning - Concept and Practice,SAGE Publications, London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi, 2006.