What is Distance Learning or eLearning?
Distance education, or eLearning, has been defined in many ways. Common aspects are that (1) teachers and students are separated physically, either by time or space, during some part of the learning environment and (2) some type of media is used for learning.
The definition has changed because of new technologies. With the advent of electronic communications, there need not be a separation of teacher and student by time. Satellites and interactive videos make face-to-face transmissions possible. World Wide Web chat rooms and videoconferencing software enable teachers and students to communicate in real time.
In essence, eLearning and distance education are the same. The difference is in emphasis. For some people, distance education appears to place emphasis on the teacher while eLearning focuses more on the learner and the learning process. This change in emphasis reflects the changes in popular distance learning theories and recent research in neuro- and cognitive sciences.