"Despite the fact that the term e-learning was coined in 1999, the roots of machine-based teaching can actually be traced backed decades before then. Ever since, more and more interpretations have offered to provide learners with the ultimate in education and instruction." posted by Chloe from Wranx.
But that doesn’t mean to say we have reached the pinnacle of e-learning. Although psychologists have used science to prove that e-learning techniques such as spaced repetition and gamification are much more effective at long-term memory retention than traditional training methods, you never know when new or novel innovations could transform knowledge acquisition yet again.
So, how far has e-learning come since its inception and what does the future have in store for this teaching technique?
Similar to e-learning, distance courses were in existence as early as the 1840s when Isaac Pitman taught students about symbolic writing via long-distance correspondence. However, it wasn’t until 1924 that Ohio State University professor Sidney Pressey invented a self-testing machine known as “Automatic Teacher,” which to all intents and purposes failed.
Fast forward 30 years and students at Harvard University were invited to follow a set of instructions on the “Teaching Machine” created by professor and pioneer BF Skinner. He also developed a more advanced system in 1960, the same year the first fully-fledged computer-based training program was developed, known as PLATO: Programmed Logic for Automated Teaching Operation. It featured learning drills and even the ability to skip questions...
The future of e-learning
Today you could argue that e-learning has evolved just as much since the term was coined as it did from Isaac Pitman’s first long-distance courses. Thanks to rapid advancements in technology, e-learning has had to adapt to the ever-changing digital preferences of modern-day learners.