eLearning-Tracking its history
It is interesting to learn that the term “elearning” was officially recognized only in 1999. This was done at a Computer Based Training (CBT) systems seminar. Thereafter, many other words emerged in an attempt to describe it. These include,“online learning”and “virtual learning”. Nonetheless, there is a historical evidence that has been documented since the 19th century.
Tracking back the elearning timeline
As early as the 1840s distance courses were offered to students who needed some relevant skills in specified subjects. It is very obvious that this was an era when the internet did not exist. During this period, outstanding educators like Isaac Pitman taught his students shorthand via correspondence. Shorthand is a form of writing that significantly improves the speed in report writing among professionals like secretaries, journalist, and other individuals requiring report writing as part of their routing tasks. Pitman’s students sent their completed assignments to him and he in turn sends them new assignments through the postal (snail mail) mailing system.
Moving on from there, the first testing machine was invented in 1924. This was a device that allowed students to test themselves. Then, in the next thirty years, BF Skinner a Professor at Harvard University invented a “teaching machine”in 1954. This machine enabled schools to administer programmed instructions to students. Six years on in 1960, the first computer based training (CBT) was out-doored worldwide. This CBT was known as PLATO-Programmed Logic for Automated Teaching Operations. Originally, PLATO was designed for University of Illinois students but became usable in school in the whole area.
The 20th century saw an introduction of modern computer and the magic of the internet. This further expanded the elearning tools and significantly increased the speed of delivery of assignments. Thus, the first MAC computer launched in the 1980s granted students the ability to learn about particular subjects, enhance and develop their skill set as they have access to computers at their homes. The next ten years witnessed the rapid growth virtual learning environments as more students accessed online information and elearning opportunities.
eLearning in corporate sectors
The concept of elearning gained acceptance in the corporate sectors and this became a vital tool for employee training in the 2000s. It afforded both new and existing employees to acquire new knowledge and skills for improved efficiency, growth and productivity.
eLearning at homes
The level of improvement in terms of knowledge base, skill, wealth and improvement of overall well being that elearning has brought to individuals around the world cannot be overemphasized. Today, online degrees-bachelors,masters and PHD programs have been made available at the door-steps of applicants. Many people are searching the internet like the harvard free online courses
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