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Breaking the shackles of traditional
classroom and adapting to new and electronic learning, a new concept of
e-learning has emerged in the last few years.
E-learning is the use of technology to enable people to learn anytime and
anywhere. It includes  training , the
delivery of just-in-time information and guidance from experts.

E-Learning term is used synonymously
with virtual learning, online learning, computer based learning, web based
learning, and networked learning. However whatever may be the definition of
e-learning, it is currently changing the way schools and colleges teach and the
students learn.

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E-learning
essentially involves the use of a computer or electronic device (e.g. a mobile
phone)  and
network enabled digital technologies (which include among other things,
internet, intranet, satellite TV, CDROM, audio and video resources) in some way to provide training, educational
or learning material.

The term e-learning
was first used in the professional environment in the year 1999 at CBT Seminar
at Los Angeles

Characteristic of E- learning is that it is a learner-centric , lifelong , flexible learning
method.                   E-learning seeks to foster collaboration and
peers interaction thus making one more social.The effectiveness of
e-learning  depends on establishing
two-way communication between teachers and learners, and among learners
themselves.

E-learning
can be provided in many ways as given below

Synchronous versus Asynchronous
Networked versus Stand alone
Individual versus Group
Online versus Offline
Internet versus Intranet
Computer based versus Other
digital devices
Blended versus Fully online
Self-paced versus Instructor
lead

Advantages of e-Learning to the Trainer or
Organization are reduced overall cost , increased retention  and application of subject, proof
of completion and certification ,expert knowledge availability and consistent delivery of content

Advantages to the Learner are confidence that refresher or quick
reference materials are available,on-demand
availability , self-pacing of learning and interactivity engages users

Potential drawbacks of e-Learning are that it is  technology dependent, expensive method. Also
there may be material incompatibility, quality of the content may not be
reliant. It may be unsuitable for certain types of training and certain types of learners .Other
drawbacks are inflexibility of the course midway once it has started and not
useful to students with visual and physical disabilities.

 Even though the E-learning is fast becoming popular and offers
an alternative for those who cannot attend classroom training, yet it might not be a match to face-to-face
teaching

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