As opposed to the computer-based training of the 1980s, the term e-learning refers to computer-enhanced training. E-learning is usually delivered via a personal computer. It includes learning delivered by other communications technologies. Methods include online lectures, tutorials, performance support systems, simulations, job aids, games, and more. Effective e-learning is often a blend of methods.

E-learning, therefore, is an approach to facilitate and enhance learning through both computer and communications technology. Such devices can include personal computers, CDROMs, Television, PDAs, MP3 Players, and Mobile Phones. Communications technology enables the use of the Internet, email, discussion forums, WIKIs, collaborative software, classroom management software and team learning systems

E-learning may also be used to suit distance learning through the use of WANs (Wide Area Networks), and may also be considered to be a form of flexible learning where just-in-time learning is possible. Courses can be tailored to specific needs and asynchronous learning is possible. Where learning occurs exclusively online, this is called online education. When learning is distributed to mobile devices such as cell phones or PDAs, it is called M-learning.

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