Document Type

Research Paper

Publication Date

Spring 2009


The processes by which learners learn and teachers teach are about as ever-changing as the seasons. Throughout time, pedagogical researchers have developed new methods for the educational process, but none have been quite as revolutionary or as controversial as e-learning. E-learning, often referred to as distance learning or online learning, provides a platform that facilitates learning through communication without requiring a face-to-face contact in the same space and time (Wahlstedt 1021). Optimistic commentators see a new world of an educational process: “Every learner can, at his or her own choice of time and place, access a world of multimedia material…immediately the learner is unlocked from the shackles of fixed and rigid schedules, from physical limitations…and is released into an information world which reacts to his or her own pace of learning (Benjamin 49; Salmon 11).” However, is this view of education universally shared? Is distance education truly a “new world” of learning, or is it only the latest “miracle” that promises solutions to problems in education and training (Huett 66)? Perhaps, the most important question: Will this process replace traditional “face-to-face” methods of learning? The answer to all of these questions is no. E-learning has, indeed, redefined education, but it has not replaced class-based learning.


2009 Undergraduate Research Award Winner in the 1000-2000 level category.