E-Learning Definition Dilemma: A Literature Analysis of E-Learning Definitions
In the recent years, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has reshaped our way of living. It is rewiring our brains and is constantly reshaping our thinking (Siemens, 2005). Because of fast pace of innovations, those changes have become inevitable and almost every human being is trapped in a circle of adopting those technologies and adapting his life-style to them. In the past, we might have considered using technological innovations as a choice but with “digital natives” generation, we have no longer those degrees of freedom, as ICTs is becoming as an essential part of our life and for instance our learning experience. E-learning (electronic learning) has gained much focus from researchers. After revising many research papers, the concept of e-learning has been widely used but differently defined. Researchers have recognized the difficulty of finding one definition in the literature that everyone agree on. With the advancement of ICTs and the internet over the last year, e-learning has widened its meanings and its scope. This paper argues that no given definition is wrong and no attributed definition is incomplete but every definition is presented from an e-learning stakeholder perspective. This paper studies a sample of 50 definitions of e-learning that were introduced from 2000-2017. Results show that the different definitions of e-learning are conditioned mostly by the researcher’s perspectives and interests in e-learning.
Key Words - E-learning definition, Information Communication Technologies, education.