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From learning towards e-learning For you too?

Belgian Network for Open and Distance Learning

Table of Contents 1. Foreword 2. Introduction 3. Guidelines 4. Different forms of learning 4.1. Digital learning sources 4.1.1. Digital reference material 4.1.2. E-Book 4.1.3. Podcast 4.2. Digital courses 4.2.1. CD-ROM/DVD 4.2.2. Web course 4.3. Virtual classes 5. Supporting aids/tools 6. Frequently Asked Questions 7. Why e-learning 8. Where to find e-learning 9. Glossary of Terms 10. The partners 11. Acknowledgements

02 03 04 06 07 07 08 10 13 13 15 21 23 28 31 32 33 39 42


1. Forword

Dear Reader You are at the beginning of this guide and perhaps on the threshold of your first e-learning experience. This guide will show you the different ways of carrying out elearning (learning via the computer). It will help you take your first steps in e-learning as soon as you have selected the system that best suits you. It will then show the advantages and disadvantages of the different methods associated with e-learning. And finally the guide provides you with a list of e-learning courses. This guide is an ELEC project product, supported by the ESF (European Social Fund). The BE-ODL (Belgian network for open and distance learning) was responsible for the production of this guide together with twelve Belgian partners •

Five sector partners: Cevora, Fopas, IPV, Logos and Vibam

Four private training providers: eXplio, GiVi, Opikanoba and U&I Learning

Two colleges: Artevelde College and Karel de Grote College and

One public training organisation: VDAB.

If you would like to know more about BE-ODL, any of these partners or this project, please surf to or call +32 (0)9 265 49 04. We hope that you will enjoy using this guide and wish you much success with it. The ELEC team


2. Introduction

2.1. Why was this guide created? E-learning is gradually gaining ground as a learning method. Learning is increasingly becoming a challenge that has no age boundaries. But not everyone wants to continue learning in a classical way. Students are becoming increasingly demanding; they want to study when and where they want and at their own rhythm. E-learning can be a particularly effective learning tool. When combined with classical forms of learning the results can be extremely powerful. A lot of people who are interested in this are hesitant about taking their first steps into this unknown territory. “Where will I find the e-courses that I need ?”, “How much does it cost?” “What is expected of me?”, “What do I need?”, etc.

2.2. Who is this guide intended for? We are targeting everyone who wants to know about the different forms of electronic learning. This guide therefore provides anyone who is interested with a tool to complement classical forms of learning with e-learning. Which e-learning form best suits your lifestyle? You can discover by filling in the questionnaire below. It may be a digital learning source, a digital course or a virtual class.

2.3. How is this guide structured? The guide starts with a general questionnaire. The answers to this help define which learning form suits you best so that you can then consult the relevant section. It is also possible to skip the questionnaire and to go through each of the learning forms one at a time. Each learning form has its specific support tools that we mention separately. There are also some frequently asked questions. And finally the guide gives the advantages and disadvantages of this new way of learning as well as references to an extensive list of e-learning courses. This is all interlaced with examples. And finally at the back of the guide you will find a glossary of terms where you will find the most common e-learning terms.


By responding to the questions below, you can discover which form of elearning best suits your learning style. Do you prefer to learn in a virtual class or individually and at your own tempo. Do you prefer to be assisted or do you like to work it out for yourself. Do you enjoy working with others or does that create problems for you? Your final choice for a specific learning form will naturally be dependent on the subject and what you already know about it. The conclusions drawn from this questionnaire are just to provide a guideline. We recommend that you actually read the other e-learning forms so that you can fine-tune your choice even further. Question 1: when I go on holiday, I choose: A. an organised holiday B. a holiday that I organise myself using information from travel guides or from other travellers C. a journey where I just head off and see where I end up Question 2: if I begin a task: A. I rarely finish the job completely B. I am happy to leave the work unfinished so that I can work on it at a later date C. I usually carry on working until the job is finished Question 3: I usually enjoy going on a walk in the countryside best: A. with a number of people who know the way. I find this is convivial and I don’t get lost. B. on my own and then I follow the signs on the path or follow a map. That way I don’t get lost. C. on my own and then I can just go in any direction I fancy. It doesn’t matter if I get lost. Sooner or later I will find my way again. Question 4: if I go on a visit to a museum (or a castle, a science part, a factory, etc.): A. I prefer to follow a guide who points out the things that are of particular interest. B. I prefer to go at my own tempo, but I certainly stop at places of interest that are indicated in the guide. C. I prefer to walk around at my own tempo and I look at those things that interest me. I decide myself what I find interesting. Question 5: If I buy myself a new piece of household equipment or an appliance: A. I let the people in the shop explain to me how it works which gives me sufficient information B. I always read the instructions before using the appliance C. I use the appliance immediately without asking for any additional information. I can always use the instructions later if I need them.

3. Guidelines Question 6: When I have made certain resolutions such as following a diet, doing a sport or stopping smoking: A. I can achieve my goal if I feel supported by my entourage B. I notice that I let my resolution fade if I am confronted by external circumstances C. I persevere until I obtain the results I want Question 7: If I find that I have an unexpected small job to do (10 minutes): A. I am happy to put this off until another time B. I work out when I can do it C. I do it straight away Question 8: If I make a particular effort, for instance in a sport: A. I don’t place any importance on the result, it is the atmosphere that counts B. I like to know my score/time C. I like to compare my result with those of others Question 9: if I watch television I zap: A. as soon as the programme starts to bore me B. after the programme I am watching has finished C. rarely. I turn the television off at the end of the programme. Question 10: When I do sports, I prefer: A. a group sport (such as volleyball, basketball, football) B. an individual sport (jogging, cycling, gym) C. and individual sport that I do with a number of friends. Question 11: If I have to prepare a dish, I would prefer to learn it by: A. somebody doing it in front of me B. watching it first on DVD and if necessary watching it again C. experimenting with the ingredients myself Question 12: In an ideal world I would like to work: A. in an open plan office so that I have contact with colleagues so that we can exchange ideas occasionally B. in a separate office so that I am not disturbed C. from home so that I can concentrate totally


Add up how many answers you gave for A, B or C. Interpretation

If you chose mainly As. The best type of learning situation for you is one where you learn from others, at the same rhythm as the group. Contact with others for you is a real stimulus and studying with a group allows you to keep up with the lessons. Your preference at the moment is probably a course that has been planned for you. And you would probably find direct contact with a teacher positive if this were possible. Read more about the learning form that best suits you on page 21 (virtual classes).

If you chose mainly Bs Doing a course independently and at your own rhythm is a form of learning that you would quite suit you. Thanks to your motivation and self-discipline you will spontaneously be able to pick up the thread and make progress in the subject. If you have any questions or problems you will be happy to contact someone who can help you, but this person should not be constantly in your presence. You can learn more about the learning form that best suits you on page 13 (digital courses).

If you chose mainly Cs You are absolutely ripe for carrying out a course completely on your own and without any outside help. You probably have little need of assistance. If you do come across problems this will not faze you and you will not be afraid of going looking for the solution yourself and in most instances you will manage to pull together the information you need. You can read about the learning form that best suits you on page 07 (digital learning sources).



DIGITALE LEERBRONNEN By digital learning sources we mean information that is available electronically and which can be found in different places on the Internet. Anyone consulting these sources can learn from them although this was probably not the objective. It is a more informal way of learning.

DIGITALE d By digital courses we refer to courses that have been specifically design for e-learning. This implies a well-thought through learning schedule. Different digital resources are used to guide the course participant through the learning material.

VIRTUELE KLAS A virtual class is an imaginary class where the teacher and the course participant are connected by their computer. Everyone is present at the same time, but not at the same location. Working in a group is particularly important here. You can ask questions of the teacher as well as other participants, you can make comments, discuss, etc.


4.1. Digital learning sources

If you are not clear what this means, check the glossary of terms.

4.1.1. Digital reference material In the same way that encyclopaedia and dictionaries exist in print, you can also find these today on the Internet. Some pieces of reference material are written by enthusiastic experts and are free (Wikipedia for instance) others are digital versions of existing encyclopaedia (Winkler Prins for example). Yet further examples are available for a fee and with some of it free of charge (Encyclopaedia Britannica), the part that is paid for is much more detailed of course. The aspect of reference material that is of particular interest are the links to other websites. For each search term you will find other more detailed pieces of information on the subject that you are looking up. It is only natural that works that are written, complemented or modified by anyone, invite a certain scepticism about the quality of the information on offer. However, a site like Wikipedia is consulted by a critical public so that many of the faults and discrepancies are corrected. The sites charging a license fee offer the same quality as their brothers in print. Target Audience Reference material is intended for students who: • want to find solutions to their queries on their own; • know their way around the Internet; • are able to look up, find and study the information they want on their own. Assistance There is absolutely no assistance available, unless people in your entourage also search the net and are prepared to share their experiences with you. Technical Requirements A PC with an Internet connection. Examples


PDF: Portable Document Format: printer friendly, popular format for texts with drawings, graphs or graphic elements, reproduces the same image on the screen as appears on paper. Mp3: format for music and audio files. MP3 reduces the files enormously without incurring any noticeable change in quality. iPod: portable MP3 player. Palm PDA: Personal Digital Assistant of Palm: a small computer that fits in the palm of your hand and which you can use for organising your personal data, keeping your agenda updated and making notes. Entering information on a PDA is often done with a pen instead of a keyboard or a mouse. E-mail: electronic mail, sending digital messages to other users, via your computer and the Internet connection.

4.1. Digital learning sources

Browser: programme that gives the user access to websites and makes it possible to surf the Internet. With a browser you can look up and view pages on the Internet. Examples are: Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer.

4.1.2. E-book An e-book is a digital version of a book. There are all sorts of formats available. Some e-books can be downloaded for free, others for a fee. The content of an e-book is often protected. Target Group E-books are intended for course participants with the following characteristics: • • • •

They want to work independently. They don’t need help. They know how to find their way around the Internet. They are able to find and study the information they need on their own.

Assistance There is absolutely no assistance available unless there are people in their entourage who regularly look up information on the net and are prepared to share their experiences. Technical Requirements E-books can be read with your browser (html) or with Adobe Acrobat Reader (PDF), with Microsoft Reader (lit), with Word (doc), with mp3 or with iPod. Some versions for Palm PDA are also available. They weigh nothing, there are no shipping costs and anyone with an Internet connection or an e-mail address can obtain a copy. E-books can also be distributed via e-mail or on CD-ROM.


4.1. Digital learning sources




4.1. Digitale leerbronnen

RSS Feed: Really Simple Syndication: RSS files are used for making a web copy accessible to a wide group of clients. (see also

4.1.3. Podcast The term podcasting is a combination of iPod, Apple’s portable MP3 player, and broadcasting. A podcast is an audio or video broadcast that appears on the Internet and which carries a code so that a computer can automatically download the broadcast. In specialist terms: audio or video files with an RSS feed that can be recognised by a podcatcher (programme). Podcast broadcasts appear regularly on the Internet. Podcasting is a simple way of loading the podcast broadcasts that you are interested in onto your computer and then onto your MP3 player. You can listen to them where and when you like. You can also listen to or watch your pocasts without a programme and without an MP3 player. Surf to the website of the podcaster, click on the MP3 or video file and listen or view on your computer. Target audience Podcasts are aimed at for course participants with the following characteristics: • They want to work independently. • They don’t need help. • They know how to find their way around the Internet. • They are able to find and study the information they need on their own. • They are enthusiastic about audio-visuals. Assistance There is absolutely no assistance available unless there are people in their entourage who regularly look up information on the net and are prepared to share their experiences. Technical requirements • • • •

A computer with Windows, Mac, or Linux. Broadband Internet connection. A podcast programme, also called aggregator, podcatcher or podcast reader Doppler, iTunes, iPodder, Nimiq, Jäger), that searches for new podcasts that you have subscribed to. These subscriptions are often free of charge. An mp3 player.


4.1. Digitale leerbronnen

Examples Bron:

Iedereen leest (Everyone Reads). In the Iedereen Leest podcast you can discover book tips for everyone. Favourite books of hundreds of readers, interviews with authors, reading sessions, beautiful prose, etc. This is the project of the Stichting Lezen (Reading Foundation), in co-operation with Gulliver, Radio 1s book programme.

Dutch Location, Belgium

Start To Run The One channel programme “Vlaanderen Sportland” managed to get 4,000 people out of their seats in recent months and convinced them to start running with Saartje, Brahim and other Bekende Vlamingen (Famous Flemish Celebrities). The programme enabled viewers to discover the training programme ‘Start to Run’ that helps people to improve their condition over a period of ten weeks. A podcast version has now also been made, it’s as though you are running with your very own trainer! You can download the ‘‘Vlaanderen Sportland’ trainings-podcast automatically and for free for a period of 10 weeks.

Dutch Location: Belgium


The VRT already offers the following programmes in the form of podcasts: Radio 1 • De tekstbaronnen • Wilde Week • De Wetstraat-watcher • Alaska • Titaantjes Radio 2 • De Raadkamer • Klara • Rondas Studio Brussel • De Afrekening • Studio Podcast • De Grote PVdV Ochtendshow-podcast

4.1. Digitale leerbronnen

What are the current VRT podcasts on offer?

VDAB The VDAB (Flemish Department for Employment and Professional Training) offers a new labour market related podcast each month.

s What impresses you during a job application discussion? You often hear that the first impression during a job application is very important and that is absolutely true. So, what is it that defines this first impression? Your posture and body language of course, but also your clothes. Make sure you pay sufficient attention to this while preparing yourself. Download s Letter of application and CV Unwieldy formulations combined with formal language: nowadays this will not get you invited back for an interview. And this is of course the ultimate aim of a letter of application. A few tips. Download

s Frequently Asked Job Application Questions A list of the FAQs that come up during a job interview. Why are these questions asked? What is the best way to reply? (source: “Sollicitatietips”– Winkler Prins). Download

s ATB This department helps handicapped people in their search for work. How do they do this? What can the ATB do for you? Download


4.2. Digital courses

Multimedia PC: personal computer that can process text, data, images and sound. All computers these days are multimedia PCs.

4.2.1. Cd-rom/dvd A cd--rom/dvd is an electronic device on which a course is ‘burned’. So, you can’t just change something on it. A course burned onto a cd-rom or dvd is no different in principle to an Internet course (web course). Certainly not in terms of structure and learning content. Only the medium is different: it is a cd-rom and not a web application. No connection to the Internet is needed therefore and there is also no follow-up of the progress of the course participant. The course participants are more dependent on his or her own motivation and determination than if they were to take a web course. Target audience The course on cd-rom or dvd is aimed at course participants with the following characteristics: • • • •

They want to work independently. They don’t need help. They have the basic skills needed to handle a computer. They have a serious amount of self-discipline and motivation and are able to work without extra help.

Assistance There is usually no assistance. Technical requirements • •

A multimedia PC with CD-ROM/DVD reader A sound card


Description: The Prisma Beginnerstrainer – that is also a part of the Intensieve Taalcursus (Intensive Language Training Course) is the best way of learning to speak and understand a foreign language – just as effective as taking a trip to the country in question. In this digital language course Spanish for Beginners, you learn the first steps towards speaking and understanding a foreign language. Your personal teacher analyses the results of your study, assesses them and adapts the training programme to the results. The exceptional learning concept and the superior technical application make this System requirements: training programme one of the best Pentium PC currently available and new and broader 32MB Geheugen applications for education and further Windows 95/98/ME/ language training courses for adults appear NT regularly.

4.2. Digital courses

Spanish for Beginners – Spanish Language Training on CD-ROM



LMS: learning management system, An electronic learning platform where course participants have access to their web course, are able to communicate with their coach and monitor their progress.

4.2. Digital courses

FAQ: frequently asked questions about a particular subject and the answers to these questions.

4.2.2. Webcourses The course is located one hundred percent on the Internet. You can consult the course at any time of night or day. The exercises are also online and the tests are corrected automatically. Web courses are always in an LMS. LMS stands for Learning Management System (or Solution). You can log in (via your user name and password) to the LMS from any PC. So, you can easily study on different PCs. Documents that you file on a specific PC will not be retrievable of course if you log in on another PC. A lot of discipline is required to complete a course this way. In order to promote this discipline, special attention is paid to this aspect when structuring web courses. The courses are sufficiently attractive and are livened up with animation and illustrations. The courses are set up as modules so that you can start at the point where your current knowledge stops and only go through those elements that you need. The course content is split up clearly. . Target audience Web courses are aimed at course participants with the following characteristics: • They are able and want to work independently and if necessary work together with others. • They are able and want to study independently and if necessary study together with others • They have the basic skills required to handle a computer and have basic knowledge of Windows and the Internet. • They are sufficiently motivated (if needs be with the guidance of a coach) to complete the course successfully. Assistance During the course you can usually call on the help of a supervisor/instructor. These are professional experts who are also familiar with coaching and assisting at a distance. The support will differ according to the course and the organisation whose course you are following. Coaching can be provided via LMS or via e-mail. The LMS also offers the possibility of working together via discussion forums and FAQs. Students can thus help each other. Co-operative learning is also an important part of learning via the Internet and can make up for the lack of social contact when learning individually.


4.2. Digital courses

Technical requirements • • • • •

PC with Internet connection. A high-speed Internet connection is recommended. A web browser (depending on the LMS that you are working with). An e-mail address (if the coaching is carried out by e-mail). A sound card (usually required for language courses). Acrobat Reader, Flash player, and any other support programmes depending on the course developer.

It is recommended that you contact the organisation whose web course you are following to make sure you know what the system requirements are. Examples


Source: Online course developed by GIVI Training & Services

4.2. Digital courses

An Ms Office Excel 2002 Course

A course in cash desk management at IKEA

Source: IKEA course developed by GIVI Training & Services


Source: (eXplio)

4.2. Digital courses

Course for practicing listening skills in eXplio’s ‘The Language Well’

A FORTIS Call Management course

Source: FORTIS Intranet course developed by Opikanoba


4.2. Digital courses

Welcome page VDAB web course

Structure of a VDAB web course


4.2. Digital courses

Exercises in a VDAB web course

Content of a VDAB web course


4.3. Virtual classes

4.3. Virtual classes In a virtual classroom, lessons are given to course participants by a teacher or a coach. Everyone is present at the same time, but not at the same location: the teacher and course participants are ‘virtually’ together because they are linked via a computer and a network. The virtual class offers you the possibility to follow and carry out practical exercises on certain parts of the course at your own tempo. The most important reasons for choosing a virtual class are the reduction in travelling time, the presence of a coach to provide support via chats - audio or sometimes video, and the group dynamic. In a virtual class there are concrete game rules and objectives in force. The virtual class gives you the opportunity to discuss the content, to work on shared documents and/or exchange experiences. Applications are often shared. In most instances the teacher demonstrates how a certain application works and as a participant you can see and hear clearly how the teacher uses the application. The teacher can have you work on the application or look over your shoulder while you solve an exercise for instance. It is an active way of following lessons. You are encouraged to participate actively. Target audience Virtual classes are targeted at course participants with the following characteristics: • • • • • •

They are able and want to work with others. They are able and want to learn with others. They do not want to travel They are able, under the guidance of a coach, to complete the course successfully. They have a more advanced knowledge of computers. They want to work interactively.


4.3. Virtuele klas

Example of a VDAB virtual class

Assistance Virtual classes always include assistance. The concrete game rules are translated into a sort of net etiquette or professionalism that is monitored by the online coach. Different supporting resources are available: • • • • •

A whiteboard Chat An attendance list Audio conferencing Video conferencing

Technical requirements • •

In addition to a microphone and a telephone headset you will also need a webcam for video conferencing. The most important requirement is a high speed Internet connection.


5. Support resources/tools

5.1. Chatting Chatting involves carrying out a discussion by people typing texts onto screens of different computers. Text typed by one user appears almost immediately on the screen of the other person. Answers can be sent instantaneously. In most cases sentences bounce back and forward. Chatting has its own turbo language. Moods can be expressed by using little smiley faces. You can send your messages to all participants or send them personally to one single person. All these messages can be stored as reminders about the lesson. In this way the teacher can keep frequently asked questions and work on them later on. Chatting is also used in order as a solution to audio problems. If your microphone does not work, you can use this medium to communicate. You can also ask for feedback from your teacher or from other participants through chatting. It is also a simple way of transferring difficult words or websites or telephone numbers correctly.


5. Support resources/tools

5.2. Voice over Internet Voice over Internet may be a free or license fee online telephone service that uses the Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP). In addition to telephone, VoIP also provides a text-based chat programme. Skype, Messenger, Nero and Callserve are the bestknown examples of this.


5. Support resources/tools

5.3. Whiteboard This is a part of your computer screen where course participants can see the learning material. This may be a presentation or tables and short texts. A whiteboard usually has a number of instruments for working on it. You have pens to draw, to underline, to draw arrows etc. You can also add text to the board, copy text or file the content of the board or print it off.


5. Support resources/tools

5.4. E-mail (electronic mail) E-mail is a service that allows you to send and receive messages via your PC. E-mail is often used for short, informal messages. In contrast to a letter on paper, compact sentences are recommended for using in e-mails. By sending attachments you can also send content in form other than text, such as tables etc.


5. Support resources/tools

5.5. Discussion forum A digital discussion forum is made up of a digital public discussion page via the Internet. Subjects are put forward and just about everyone can react by sending a short piece of text. New subjects can be entered or a solution requested for a specific problem. The subjects and the level of the discussion may vary widely.


6. Frequently Asked Questions

6. Frequently Asked Questions What should you take note of before you begin? These guidelines will try to give you answers to general and more technical questions. General Questions (FAQ = frequently asked questions) How much will you have to pay for an e-learning course? The price depends on the supplier. Click to their website or ask for their price by email or by phone. Training cheques will help you recuperate part of the cost. For more details see: Jobseekers (certain categories) may be able to follow a number of courses free of charge via the VDAB. You register online and can start work immediately. For more details see: Some training foundations also offer e-learning courses (either free of charge or for a fee) for their staff. Do you receive a certificate and if so, when? In most instances the supplier will automatically award a certificate once the majority of the course material has been completed. Many e-learning courses are run completely online so that all learning activities can be stored in a databank. This data makes it possible to register the percentage of learning objects studied and to check from which point in time the course was satisfactorily studied. For more details we recommend you consult the organisation whose course you are following. How many courses can you follow simultaneously? The number of courses that you can follow simultaneously is usually limited. This is mainly to avoid you biting off more than you can chew. Following different courses at the same time is not easy and demands a great deal of perseverance. How can you go about stopping your course early. The e-learning course that you have chosen does not meet your expectations; the method does not suit you or the course content is not to your liking. You can stop the course of course, but the money that you have paid for the course is lost. Some suppliers are prepared in certain circumstances to allow you to change to another course.


6. Frequently Asked Questions

How can you go about extending the duration of the course? Sometimes you can’t complete the course within the set time. We recommend that you ask the organisation whose course you are taking if you can extend the access period. There is a chance that you may have to pay for this extension. Is it possible to re-register for the same course? In principle you can always re-register for the same course. You will have to pay the course fee again. What should you do if you change your e-mail address? You should send an e-mail with the changes as quickly as possible to the organisation whose course you are taking so that you avoid any interruptions in the e-mail traffic relating to the course. Technical Questions What requirements does your PC need to fulfil? Requirements will differ for each organisation. Below we have listed a number of important points that you should note to ensure the smooth running of your e-course. Screen resolution 600*800 Internet connection Slow • • • • • • •

1024*768 High Speed

Web browser: if you want to study via your PC you will need at least Internet Explorer 6.0. Software: in most instances you will need to own the software that you want to learn to use via your e-learning course. Language: make sure you have the right language version of the software package that you will be learning installed on your computer. Acrobat reader: if you need this software programme, you can download it for free from the Internet. Flash player: if you need this software programme, you can download it for free from the Internet. Pop-up: You are best switching off your pop-up blocker so that new screens can appear without any problems. Cookies: in order to be able to work easily, you need to allow cookies if you are to follow an e-learning course.


6. Frequently Asked Questions

How do you solve problems with cookies? In order to enable pop-ups on your computer, you should go to the tools menu on Internet Explorer and click on the option Pop-up blocker and then click on” always allow pop-ups from this website”. Then you click on Yes in the dialogue window to confirm your choice. You cannot access the learning platform? What do you do? This is often due to the installed firewall or a strong virus screening. In these instances you will need to reduce the level of the screening. Consult the website from which you downloaded the firewall and the anti virus scanner or ask the IT manager at the company. Why is it that one is automatically logged off during an e-learning course? It is most likely that this is because you have not done anything in the course during a certain period of time (20 – 30 minutes. This depends on the course supplier. Just log in again to continue working on your course. Do you lose everything if you stop in the middle of a course? No. An e-learning course has the great advantage that the course supplier automatically records the point at which you stopped studying. You can always continue learning from that point or repeat whatever you want. Take note however, that exercises saved on your own hard drive will not be retrievable on another PC.


7. Why e-learning?

7. Why e-learning? As an e-student you define what you want to learn yourself. You are not fixed to a specific starting date, you choose yourself. You have access to the information and the courses 24 hours a day for 7 days a week. You can study for long or short periods of time and at your own tempo, because you can start at any point in the day and end at any point. E-learning is much easier to fit in to your daily activities than classical studying. As an e-student you define where you want to learn. This may be at home, at your workplace or any other location where you have access to a computer with an Internet connection. As an e-student you decide what you study and in which order. You can put together your own learning package. If there is a subject that you already know about, you don’t need to go through it all. You just learn what you need when you need it. And you have access to the latest information and courses. The combination of text, images and sound makes studying exciting and varied. But‌ New e-students are often carried away by their enthusiasm and try to do too much at one time, and after a while they become demotivated. There is more or less no direct contact with other people in the same situation. Stopping is just as easy therefore as starting. If you want to be sure that your first e-learning experience is a success, then you will make sure you pace yourself by working sufficiently hard and being well motivated.


8. Where to find e-learning?

8. Where to find e-learning? The number of e-learning courses on offer is growing by the minute. More and more suppliers are hitting the market with an increasing number of subjects to study. It is impossible to keep track of all of this. Certainly not on paper. A good tip is to look up the courses available through Google. Another possibility is to consult the online databank. This contains the e-learning courses of different suppliers. Check them up on If you are a company and you want to start up your first e-learning project, you should not hesitate to look at the website below. This website was created as part of a Trivisi project, and is supported by the ESF (European Social Fund) and the Flemish government.


9. Glossary of Terms

9. Glossary of Terms Below you will find an explanation for a number of words used in this guide. Account This is a subscription to the Internet from an Internet provider. It is via this provider that you gain access to the Internet. Adobe Acrobat Reader Free programme provided by the company Adobe that makes it possible to read and print PDF files. ADSL Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line: a telephone line for high speed connection to the Internet. This means that the data is sent through at a higher speed. In the same way as cable connections, ADSL has the advantage of an uninterrupted connection to the Internet with a telephone line that remains free at the same time. Audio conferencing This involves holding a conference where the participants are not at the same location, but where they are all connected simultaneously by a computer network so that they can all hear each other. Back-up Reserve copy of a file or a programme. A reserve copy is usually saved to another computer, on a floppy disk, a CD or DVD. Operating System A programme that drives the whole computer, this includes the computer, the mouse, the keyboard and the printer as well as the programmes that your computer uses. Examples of operating systems are Windows (paying), Linux (free) and Mac. (Mac is specially for Apple computers). Broadband High speed connection to the Internet. A broadband connection makes it possible to send data very quickly. Examples are cable and ADSL connections. Browser Programme that gives users access to websites and makes it possible to surf the net. You can search and view pages on the Internet with the browser. Examples are: Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer.


9. Glossary of Terms

Desktop The screen that appears in Windows after the computer starts up. This usually includes “waste basket”, and “my computer” and you can add links yourself. A pictogram is given to everything that you have on your desktop. You double click on the icon and the document, programme or the Internet page will open. Cd-rom Compact disc read-only memory. A cd-rom, in short cd, looks just like an audio cd, but it contains computer data such as text, animations, illustrations, audio and video material. A cd-romis only readable, you cannot store your own files on it. In order to read a cd-rom you need to have a cd-rom reader which is usually built into your computer. Cd-rw Rewritable Compact Disc. A cd that can be rewritten with the help of a cd burner or cd writer so that you can add text, animation, illustrations, audio and video material. Chatting Chatting over the Internet using typed messages. You type your message on the screen and it is visible to all chatters who are also sitting at their computers at the same moment in time and in the same chat room. If someone answers your messages, it is visible to all chatters. This creates typed discussions. Cookie A small file that is installed in your computer and that contains information about the websites you have visited. When you next visit the website you will be identified as a user and will be able to immediately see for instance the place where are at in your course. Cookies are usually harmless, but can also be the reason you receive unwanted advertising messages. Digital Designation that expresses data in a code with zeros and ones. This data may be text, illustrations, photos, audio or video material. Digital data can be copied precisely and without loss of quality or transferred via an Internet connection. Discussion forum A website of a part of a website where on can hold discussions using postings. Postings are small e-mails that everyone can read on the site. Sometimes everyone can take part in the discussion, sometimes the discussions are only accessible to registered members.


9. Glossary of Terms

Downloading Copying data from the internet to a computer; gathering and storing. Dvd Digital Versatile Disk, a disk with a sufficiently a high storage capacity to hold films. In order to be able to read a dvd you need a dvd player. This can be linked or built into a computer. E-mail Electronic mail, sending digital messages to other users via your computer and Internet connection. FAQ Frequently Asked Questions about a subject and the corresponding answers. Firewall This type of wall, when built into buildings, is to prevent fire penetrating from one side of the wall to the other side. The firewall in a computer network is likewise there to protect the network against malicious users for instance who spread viruses or try to obtain secret information. Hardware All the tangible parts of the computer such as screen, mouse, keyboard, printer. The programmes are called software. HTML HyperText Markup Language: is used to write pages for the Internet. With HTML text can be given codes that define typeface, layout and built-in drawings for instance. Hyperlink Link or shortcut, a text or an image that you can click on in order to reach another (web) page. You can identify a hyperlink by passing over it with your cursor: when you reach a hyperlink, the cursor turns into a small hand. Internet Very extensive network of computer systems linked to each other. These computer systems receive information from users all over the world. This information is accessible to anyone who has an account with an Internet provider. iPod Portable mp3 player.


9. Glossary of Terms

Learning activity Each activity that course participants have to carry out themselves during their studies: looking up information, studying theory, listening critically, doing exercises, etc. Learning schedule Overview of the learning content that a course participant wants or has to study and the planned timing. Linux See Operating System. LMS Learning Management System, an electronic learning platform where the course participants have access to their web course, can communicate with the coach and monitor their progress. Mac See Operating Systems. Microsoft Reader Microsoft programme that makes it possible to read video files. The files are identified by the suffix “.lit� Mp3 Format for music and audio files. Mp3 reduces the size of the files enormously without affecting the quality too much. Multimedia PC Personal computer that can work with text, data, images and sound. All computers these days are multimedia PCs. Online Connected to the Internet. Not connected to the Internet is called Offline. Palm PDA Personal Digital Assistant of Palm: a small computer that fits in the palm of your hand and which you can use for organising your personal data, keeping your agenda updated and making notes. Information is often entered into a PDA with a pen instead of a keyboard or a mouse. PDF Portable Document Format: printer friendly, commonly used format for texts with drawings, tables or graphic elements, reproduces the same image on the screen as appears on paper.


9. Glossary of Terms

RSS feed Really Simple Syndication: RSS files are used to make a web copy available for a wide group of clients. (see also www.telenet. be/portaal/learningzone/ Scrolling Making parts of the window visible that are hidden at that moment in time. You can scroll with the arrow keys on the keyboard, with the scroll box in the vertical and horizontal scroll bar or with a special scroll wheel in the mouse. Shortcut A pictogram on the desktop or on a toolbar. By double clicking on a shortcut you can open the programme, document or website very speedily. Site map Schematic overview of how a website is set up. Each section of the sitemap is a hyperlink. When you click on the link you immediately come to the corresponding section of the website. Software All programmes that are installed on a computer. The tangible parts of the computer are called hardware. System Requirements A range of technical requirements that your computer needs to meet in order to use certain applications. If certain types of computer are not able gain access to a certain application, the system requirements will specifically indicate this when that application is being purchased. Video conferencing Holding conferences where the participants are not in the same location, but are connected to each other simultaneously by a computer network, whereby they receive images and sound from each other. Webcam Small camera for sending images via the Internet. Webcams are usually placed on top of the computer. Whiteboard Part of the computer screen where course participants can view learning material.


9. Glossary of Terms

Windows See Operating Systems. Word Microsoft word processing programme, the files are identified by the suffix “.doc�


10. The partners

10. The partners The Arteveldehogeschool (, located in the lively university city of Gent is the largest catholic college and the second largest college in Flanders. During the 2006 – 2007 academic year, the Artevelde College boasted almost 9,000 students, more than 900 staff and 22 different courses. The college is a centre of knowledge and expertise and its objective is to achieve optimal co-operation between business, science, organisations and companies so that it can reinforce the profile of Flanders as an innovative and knowledgeable community. Lid van de Associatie Universiteit Gent

The Belgian Network for Open and Distance Learning ( org) was set up in 1999 on the initiative of the VDAB and Le Forem. Its mission, together with other public and private players, is to promote e-learning. The network focuses on employees by promoting the use of open and distance learning for business training courses. The organisation of seminars, during which practical examples of companies are presented to a broad audience, is just one of the many activities of this network. Cevora ( is the sector training centre of the Paritary Committee 218, the auxiliary paritary committee for employees. This sector groups around 52,000 companies employing 360,000 people. Cevora organises free training courses for employees in this sector. Training for relevant jobs in the sector is also provided to jobseekers thus ensuring that “bottleneck� professions and opportunity groups are also covered. Cevora also awards training grants to companies and workers. It organises outplacement for people who have been made redundant and trains young people in industrial apprenticeships. eXplio ( nv is a Belgian company that specialises in two fields : - the creation of software for developing multimedia interactive ePartner in e-learning learning course material - the creation of digital language products (7 CD-ROMs and 2 online products with a total of 24 modules). eXplio has considerable experience in the development, implementation and creation of elearning in the education sector and in companies. eXplio has been working in this field for many years. The company has offices in Belgium, the Netherlands and employs a dynamic team of language, educational and ICT specialists. Fopas ( is the Paritary Fund for the promotion of employment opportunities and training in the insurance sector. Fopas organises course in seven broad areas: Communication, Personal Development, Clients, Cooperation, Language, IT and Insurance Techniques. Training courses are available for both groups as well as individuals. Additional services include: tests in all fields of learning, orienting staff to develop priority skills and outplacement under specific conditions.


10. The partners

GiVi Services & Training ( is, with more than 20 years’ experience and 75 staff, an absolute specialist in training courses, both classical, assisted independent study as well as e-learning with the result that blended learning is a perfectly viable option. GiVi Services & Training also created a complete learning content management system (e-LCMS), Competas, that offers all the functions needed for elearning as well as an intelligent software solution for training and skills management. GiVi is located in Antwerp, Brussels, Gent, Leuven, Zaventem and Utrecht. Karel de Grote-Hogeschool ( is a catholic college with 7300 students and 1000 staff. It is made up of six departments: Health Care, Business Studies and Business, Industrial Sciences and Technology, Teacher Training, Social Sciences, Visual Arts (Sint Lucas Antwerp). Business and innovation make up the theme of the year. Increasing opportunities remains our mission with a student-oriented approach as our primary goal. IPV ( the sector training centre for the food industry (PC 118 and PC 220). Offers a whole range of services to the food industry: from standard training courses to tailor-made courses, coaching in a number of fields such as training planning, HACCP, BRC, etc. We target employees, job seekers as well as young students at school. LOGOS ( is the training foundation of the Paritary Committee 226 for employees in international business, transport and different related branches. Their role as laid down by the social fund of the paritary committee 226 is: - to organise free training courses for employees in the sector - to subsidise training programmes organised by companies in the sector - to finance training initiatives for the benefit of opportunity groups and potential future employees in the sector, including staff in outplacement.


10. The partners

Opikanoba ( is your partner for development of e-learning products that offer real solutions to your development issues. Our experience is based on 20 years of research and development into high-quality learning products, for both large and small companies each with their own specific needs and characteristics. Our projects are customised interactive online learning courses, information and communication projects. A strong focus on interactivity and a user-oriented approach before and during the project guarantee an interesting and targeted solution for you, your company and your target group. U&I Learning ( is a company of architects in e-learning and knowledge that is listed on the stock exchange. We offer organisations solutions for gathering knowledge and passing this on to their employees and clients so that the right knowledge is always available for the right audience. U&I has offices in Gent (Belgium) and Ede (the Netherlands). The complete team today comprises a staff of 50 with different specialisations such as pedagogy, linguistics, graphics, multimedia, ICT and engineering. The Vlaamse Dienst voor Arbeidsbemiddeling en Beroepsopleiding (VDAB) (The Flemish Department for Employment and Professional Training ( is committed to helping people find suitable jobs. The VDAB’s business mission is to be a reliable partner on all issues relating to personnel policy. The VDAB also offers an extensive range of training courses for adults and is able to respond to personal needs of job seekers, employees and employers. Training courses are run in co-operation with the different sectors of the business world and always focus on practical aspects. VIBAM ( is the sector training initiative for employees in the metal, electro-technical and plastic industry (Paritary Committee 209) in the province of Antwerp. VIBAM’s mission is to increase employment opportunities for workers by encouraging, co-ordinating and organising training, educational and coaching activities. Our target group includes employees in the sector and jobseekers who are interested in this sector. The different services available include training, training advice, outplacement and career development.


11. Acknowledgements

11. Acknowledgements THANKS all the PARTNERS who have worked so hard to create this e-learning guide. THANKS....TO BERT for his unflagging contribution, the co-ordination and the final copy. the VDAB for making their facilities available and for their staff input. ESF for the important European financial contribution as well as the vision development and monitoring of the Equal project. EVERYONE who will use this guide. It is by trying e-learning and developing skills in this way that you will make a positive contribution to promoting this form of learning.

Johan Van Oost Managing Director BE-ODL


ESF: bijdragen tot de ontwikkeling van de werkgelegenheid door het bevorderen van inzetbaarheid, ondernemerschap, aanpasbaarheid en gelijke kansen, en door het investeren in menselijke hulpbronnen.

BE-ODL Co-ordination unit Kongostraat 7 • 9000 Gent Phone +32 9 265 49 06 • Fax +32 9 233 21 70

E learner guide  

This guide will show you the different ways of carrying out e-learning. It will help you take your first steps in e-learning as soon as you...

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