What is eLearning?

At York, eLearning is defined as

… the development of knowledge and skills through the use of information and communication technologies to support interactions for learning including interactions with content, learning activities and with other people (York University, Common Language for eLearning, 2014).

The University’s common language for eLearning also classifies and defines six modes of course instruction.

eLearning Strategies


A “traditional” lecture or seminar format is used without technology.

A traditional face-to-face lecture format is supplemented by the use of presentation or online tools such as PowerPoint slides, videos, “clickers”, etc.

Face-to-face instruction occurs in a setting where every student has access to a computer (lab or personal laptop) and the computer applications or online materials are integral to the instruction.

Web Enhanced Learning

A face-to-face lecture delivery format is utilized where learning is supplemented by web materials, resources or activities. Web-enhanced courses will use a learning management system (LMS) to make lecture notes and recordings available, provide links to resources, online quizzes, discussion forums, etc. Usual face-to-face instruction time remains the same in these courses despite the addition of a web component.

The flipped classroom is a form of web-enhanced learning which involves the practice of giving students access to lectures electronically and using the face-to-face class time for interactive  activities.

Blended Learning

In the blended mode, also known as “hybrid,” class time is a combination of face-to-face and online delivery.

Face-to-face instruction is replaced by online instruction for one third of the course, while one third of the course is delivered face-to-face. The remaining third may be any combination of online or face-to-face.

Total course contact hours will remain the same as a traditional face-to-face course.

Fully Online

Students do not physically attend classes. All lectures and course activities are delivered online. The student may be required to come to campus (or another location) to write tests or exams.

Course directors may create opportunities for students to come to campus but attendance is not mandatory.