So, what is eLearning anyway?

So, what is eLearning anyway?

We have been asked this more times than we can count. The challenge is trying to answer a rather large question in a simple, accessible way. eLearning is a really big word and an even bigger world with lots of potential. We hope to use this blog to share some of our expertise and knowledge of the eLearning realm.

At Simple Movement, we have a lot of experience with building dynamic and accessible eCourses. This means everything from taking an in-class course and re-inventing it for an online environment to creating an eCourse for companies who need to train a large number of employees in a short and accessible environment (i.e. mandated work training certificate). Just think of all the ways you can create more accessible ways for your learners, staff, and communities to upgrade their skills, learn of new procedures and/or introduce new and exciting content than with an eCourse! Having something online eliminates hours of meetings, booking rooms, back and forths with facilitators, and more importantly, saves you money.

Back to the question: What is eLearning?

Well, we'd love to discuss this more with you. Contact us anytime: 

In the meantime, here are some well-used terms in eLearning that will help in your eWorld journey. We hope you find it useful to review some of them!


Asynchronous and Synchronous Learning: 
Asynchronous typically means that a student will engage with the online course without having live interactions with a teacher in the form of ‘live instruction’.  Most asynchronous learning experiences are self-paced, however the student/user is able to communicate with a teacher via chat or email 

Synchronous learning experiences allow the student or user to participate in a live learning experience that is lead by a teacher or facilitator.  The student may have the ability to engage directly (in-real time) with their peers, teacher or facilitator through a microphone or via text chat while lesson is happening.

Authoring Tool: 
Online courses which are hosted on a Learning Management system are very often created using “Course Authoring Tools”, software.  The completed files from authoring software can uploaded to a SCORM conformant Learning Management System (I.e. Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle, Desire2Learn) 

Blended Learning: 
Leveraging an online learning environment to expand upon and enhance an on-site classroom learning experience. 

Content Management System (CMS): 
Typically a web-based application used to build a website, manage content and measure analytics within a common interface. Wordpress is a CMS.

Competency-based Learning: 
Experiences where the learning is designed for the student/user to develop specific skills and competencies rather than abstract knowledge.

Flipped Learning: 
Similar to Blended Learning, students/users are exposed to learning material at home through their online course, then apply that learning in their on-site classroom 

Game-based Learning: 
Presenting learning content through an applied experience where students/users situate themselves in contexts to interact with concepts. 

A type of learning that leverages game elements such as badges, levels, achievements, points etc. to increase students’ engagement in the learning process.

Instructional Design: 
A position/person who participates in creating your online course, and a practice of analyzing, designing and developing instructional materials and transferring them into an online curriculum.  

Learning Path: 
Steps a student needs to complete to pass the course and earn a certificate or demonstration of completion.

LMS (Learning Management System): 
Software used in creating, managing and delivering eLearning content as well as communicating with students and tracking their performance.  Examples of LMS’: Moodle, Canvas, Desire2Learn, Blackboard, etc.

LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability): 
The means by which LMS vendors allow integration of their platforms with third-party services to enrich the user’s experience and to enable greater functionality. It is a framework within which an LMS sends information about a learner to a third-party tool or software, enabling data exchange and a seamless user experience.

Scenario-based Learning: 
Employing a narrative to create a learning experience to develop and apply skills in a variety of contexts.

SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model): 
SCORM compatible content is created with authoring tools and can be reused and transferred to a new LMS with no need to spend money and efforts on the remaking of content.  

Student-Centered Approach to ELearning: 
Methods of teaching in which a student is put at the very centre of the learning process. A teacher adjusts a curriculum, materials delivery and class activities to the student’s skills and the level of knowledge. The student-centered classroom allows students not to just pass, but to learn in a deep and fundamentally appropriate way.  

 Tin Can (also called Experience API or xAPI): 
The next generation of SCORM eLearning standard allowing tracking learning activities happening outside the LMS (like attending conferences, writing blogs, social communication etc.)

Matt Foran