Definitions of eLearning Tools

Definitions of eLearning Tools

Definitions of eLearning Tools

The age of digitalization brought to life a lot of new phenomena. Very often they are so novel, there is no word yet to describe it. So, new terms have to be created constantly to follow technological development. Sometimes it is quite confusing to navigate in the ocean of unfamiliar words.

For somebody these definitions are easy to comprehend, but for other people getting to the bottom of the idea demands some study on the subject. Also it looks like new words tend to vary in its meaning depending on who uses it and in what context.


Let’s have a look at the terminology of one of the newest industries – eLearning.


eLearning is easy to define: it is a learning process that utilizes electronic technologies and usually takes place in informal locations. Well, that was clear. But what does eLearning really include? How does it work? What are the instruments needed? 

For recipients eLearning is made easy: they need an electronic device like a computer, laptop or mobile phone and an internet connection. Usually no special software is required.

Anyway, from the other side of the process, eLearning is not that simple. It requires special knowledge, precise software and a sufficient bandwidth.

eLearning Instructor Tools


A webinar is an online event that has one or more hosts and is broadcasted via the Internet. It is also referred to as a “webcast”, “online event” or “web-seminar” sometimes. It is actually the analog of seminar, but with a web-camera instead of your live presence. A webinar is usually hosted by a limited number of speakers, but the amount of listeners can be significant.

Normally a webinar also allows some interaction between the host/speaker and the audience. It happens over chat or webcam. It is strongly dependent on the amount of participants, what kind of interaction the host adheres to. 

Online conference 

Online conferences differ from webinars in the amount of active participants. Usually all online conferences’ participants are active participants. They are able to interact with the host and each other by different means of communication. To make an online conference more organized, the host offers pre-registrations, virtual rooms for online meetings, trainings and scheduled presentations. The best feature about online conferences is the fact that most of the materials, presentations and lectures are available for the participants continuously during the period of the event. An online conference is equally multidimensional and a relatively expensive event as a classical conference.

Online meeting

Online meetings keep all the features of online conferencing. It can include live lectures, negotiations, material sharing and etc, but it is usually scaled down to a few participants. As a rule, all the participants of online meetings have active access to the resources.

Online course or eCourse / eTraining

Naturally, eCourse or eTraining has a similar structure than a classic class. It contains a certain piece of knowledge or material conducted through the Internet. eCourse / eTraining is usually individual-paced, that attracts more participants than classic on site courses and trainings. Together with the advantage of not being bonded to the place, eCourse gives the possibility to move in the tempo which suits each participant the best.

eCourse can be passive, interactive or live, depending on the structure the instructor has chosen. 

A passive course is a piece of material, which is provided to the student. It is a good practice, if also passive courses have support sites or groups. It works both ways: students can have peer support and the promoter has feedback about the product.  

As a rule, an interactive course is available only during a certain period of time. An interactive course consists of different blocks depending on the structure the instructor prefers to use. E.g. materials for self-study, group meeting, chats, material exchange, individual, group assignments, and assessments. It usually also includes significantly more support from the instructor, but not necessarily live interaction.  

A live course could consist of the same blocks as an interactive course. But its most important feature is a substantial part of live interaction, group or individual. Live course is bonded to the particular time brackets, but of definetely not to the place.

Live streaming

Live streaming is a relatively old invention, but it was used mostly for video broadcasting on TV. Nowadays live streaming is a popular way of broadcasting a live video picture in real time through the Internet. A live stream is not recorded or stored, but not necessarily unfiltered and non-produced.    

Support tools for eLearning

All the varieties of eLearning benefits from creating support groups or topic chats, that give students a possibility to reflect on their progress and results, search peer support or present their questions to the instructors.

Personally, I would not recommend you to place the support group to outer resources like Facebook, or other chat platforms. It will limit your possibilities for managing the resource. Searching for a particular topic or material can be also complicated. Most proper eCourse platforms offer reliable and simple tools for sharing materials, chat and other specific blocks of an eLearning toolkit. 

Another reason for placing the peer support groups onto your own website or platform is providing a proper learning environment. Avoiding external distracting factors and creating a peaceful and inspiring background will help your students to concentrate on the learning process, thus, to achieve better results.

Your own platform will be free of annoying ads (unless you put there one) or beeping “You’ve got a new message” alarms. It is a surprisingly big deal in our flashy virtual reality. 

Definitions of eLearning Tools

Definitions of eLearning Tools

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