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Building an inclusive definition of e-learning: An approach to the conceptual framework

  • Albert Sangrà eLearn Center, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
  • Dimitrios Vlachopoulos eLearn Center, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
  • Nati Cabrera School of Cooperation, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
Keywords: e-learning, inclusive definition, distance education, technology-enhanced learning

Abstract

E-learning is part of the new dynamic that characterises educational systems at the start of the 21st century. Like society, the concept of e-learning is subject to constant change. In addition, it is difficult to come up with a single definition of e-learning that would be accepted by the majority of the scientific community. The different understandings of e-learning are conditioned by particular professional approaches and interests.

An international project, based on the participation of experts around the world, was undertaken to agree on a definition of e-learning. To this end, two main research activities were carried out. First, an extensive review was conducted of the literature on the concept of e-learning, drawing from peer-reviewed journals, specialised web pages, and books. Second, a Delphi survey was sent out to gather the opinions of recognised experts in the field of education and technology regarding the concept of e-learning with a view to reaching a final consensus.

This paper presents the outcomes of the project, which has resulted in an inclusive definition of e-learning subject to a high degree of consensus that will provide a useful conceptual framework to further identify the different models in which e-learning is developed and practiced.

Author Biographies

Albert Sangrà, eLearn Center, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

eLearn Center, Academic Director

Dimitrios Vlachopoulos, eLearn Center, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
eLearn Center, Associate Researcher
Nati Cabrera, School of Cooperation, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

eLearn Center, Researcher

School of Cooperation, Lecturer

Published
2012-04-13
How to Cite
Sangrà, A., Vlachopoulos, D., & Cabrera, N. (2012). Building an inclusive definition of e-learning: An approach to the conceptual framework. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 13(2), 145-159. https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v13i2.1161
Section
Research Articles