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Evolution of E-learning

Learning is more effective when it is active rather than a passive process. – Kurt Lewin

The term ‘e-learning’ was first used in 1999, at a CBT systems seminar. In the quest for actual description, other words such as ‘online learning’ and ‘virtual learning’ also came into existence.

How e-learning came into the picture?

It all started with distance courses offered to students interested in learning particular subjects. In 1840’s Issac Pitman taught shorthand to his pupils via correspondence. This form of writing was popular amongst journalist and other individuals who had a great deal of writing or note making. Pitman was sent completed assignments by his students by mail system, and he used to send them assignments, need to be finished.

The advent of testing machine

The first testing machine was invented in 1924. This device enabled students to test themselves. Later, in 1954, BF Skinner invented a teaching machine which enabled schools to administer programmed instructions to pupils. However, the first computer-based training program was introduced in the world in 1960.

The first computer-based training (CBT) program was originally designed for students attending the University of Illinois.

How did the current online learning expand?

E-learning tools and delivery methods expanded in the late 20th century when computer made their way to people’s home. With this, it became easier to learn and develop certain skill sets. Virtual learning environments truly prospered in the following decade.

The present era of e-learning

With the boom in technology, e-learning has become more revolutionized and diverse than ever. With mobile phones taken over our lives in every dimension, learning experience has become personalized, transformed and accelerated.

E-learning trends to watch in 2018:

Mobile learning or mLearning

We have already seen a significant increase in mobile learning in corporate training and this trend will continue. With BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), flexibility in training policy, more effective version of mLearning is expected to come in the near future.


Whether you have to buy groceries or learn cooking, there is an app for everything. The same is true for e-learning. The number of mobile app downloads in 2017 has risen to a whopping 178 billion. Mobile apps give flexibility to learning by connecting the learners through updates or notifications.

Blended learning

Blended learning has been in e-learning world for a while. It is a combination of instructor-led learning and online training with multiple training tools and support resources. Blended learning has enabled learners to mix formal and informal instructional interventions.


Gamification in eLearning is not new, but it is trending due to the effective technique to engage learners. Gamification provides immersive learning experiences for various training needs, like induction and onboarding, soft skill enhancement, behavioral change programs, etc.

Social learning

Social media is doing wonderful task in eLearning industry by connecting the communities. Social learning creates an informal learning setting where learners can share, collaborate and exchange ideas. It has given organizations a new way to keep their employee engaged in training.

Video-based learning

The role of videos in learning is crucial as they have made learning process more engaging and interactive for learners. The challenge with classic video-learning was the passivity as after a few minutes, most learners forgot what they learned. However, virtual reality and augmented reality paved the way for interactive video which elevated the e-learning experience of the learners. With cutting-edge tools, a passive video can now be converted into interactive sessions.

E-learning has eased learning techniques. People are not aware of the wonders it can do for learners and mentors. E-learning is supplementing a learner’s development in multiple ways is changing the future landscape of learning and development promisingly.

Naveen is a digital marketing professional with over 4 years of experience. Presently, he is incredibly passionate about software, technology, website design, paid marketing, and content marketing.
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