Online Learning

Online Learning

John F. Clayton (Waikato Institute of Technology, New Zealand)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-562-7.ch066
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Abstract

By looking closely at the term online learning, we could arrive at a simple definition, which could be the use by students of connected (online) computers to participate in educational activities (learning). While this definition is technically correct, it fails to explain the full range and use of connected computers in the classroom. Historically, the term appears to have evolved as new information and communication tools have been developed and deployed. For example, in the early stages of development, Radford, (1997) used the term online learning to denote material that was accessible via a computer using networks or telecommunications rather than material accessed on paper or other non-networked media. Chang and Fisher (1999) described a Web-based learning environment as consisting of digitally formatted content resources and communication devices to allow interaction. Zhu and McKnight (2001) described online instruction as any formal educational process in which the instruction occurs when the learner and the instructor are not in the same place and Internet technology is used to provide a communication link among the instructor and students. Chin and Ng Kon (2003) identified eight dimensions that constructed an e-learning framework. The range of definitions of online learning is not only a reflection of technological advancement but also a reflection of the variety of ways educationalists at all levels use connected computers in learning.

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