Speaking at the recent eLN meeting in London, Stuart Chadwick, of e-learning developers Kineo, commented that e-learning materials and programs could as easily be used for advertising as for ‘pure’ learning purposes.
Comment: He is right in the sense that what we call ‘e-learning’ is really only the application of technologies to produce some materials which can help people to learn things. In that sense, ‘e-learning’ is only one form of communication and the technologies that it employs can be used for any other form of electronically-delivered communication.
However, where does this argument stop? At what point does ‘e-learning’ become advertising and at what point does it progress to become ‘propaganda’? Could this be a slippery and dangerous slope for both the unprincipled commissioner of such materials and their naïve recipient? One thing seems certain: once e-learning stops being e-learning, who knows where it will all end?