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Definitions PDF Print E-mail
Written by Neil Evans, PhD study   
Friday, 29 January 2010 14:34

The term e-learning was claimed to have been coined by Cross in 1998 (Cross, 2004), however it seems to have already been published by Mori in 1997 (Clark, 2001). Listed below are several notable definitions of e-learning which describe the utilization of ICT within educational and training programmes:

1. The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) defined e-learning in 1998 as a broad set of applications and processes which include web-based learning, computer-based learning, virtual classrooms, and digital collaboration. Much of this is delivered via the Internet, intranet/extranet (LAN/WAN), audio- and videotape, satellite broadcast, interactive TV, and CD-ROM. (ASTD, 2004)
2. According to the World Bank e-learning refers to the use of computer-based electronic technologies of Internet, e-mail, websites and CD-ROMs, and their applications, to deliver, facilitate and enhance both formal and informal learning and knowledge sharing at any time, any place and at any pace. (World Bank, 2009)
Synonyms of e-learning are Technology Assisted Learning (TAL) (Boere and Kruger, 2008) or virtual learning. 


1. ASTD website’s article: Down with Boring E-Learning! By Ryann Ellis. (2004). [Online]. 
Available: Accessed: Accessed: 12th January, 2009.
2. Boere I. and Kruger M. (2008). Developmental Study Towards Effective Practices in Technology-Assisted Learning.
Combined Report from Twelve Participating South African Universities by University of Johannesburg in Collaboration with Mark Schofield of Edge Hill University, UK.
3. Cross J. (2004). A History of E-learning. The Future of E-learning. Draft. [Online]. Available:
Accessed:  22nd May, 2008.
4. Clark, D.R. (2001). Defining e-learning. [Online]. Available: . Accessed: 12th January, 2009. 
5. World Bank website (2009): Poverty & Growth - E-Learning. [Online] . Available:,,contentMDK:20281751
. Accessed: 12th January, 2009.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 February 2010 15:56