History of E-Learning and online classes

Learn more about the history of e-learning and online classes

By the early 90s, several institutions had been set up that delivered courses online only, making the most out of the internet and bringing education to the masses,though without free online courses with printable certificates. With the introduction of the computers and internet in the 20th century, e-learning tools and delivery methods expanded. Thus, the history of e-learning is marked by revolutionary inventions that have led to advanced learning systems we have currently.

The first online learning systems were only set up to deliver information to students but as we entered the 70s online learning started to become more interactive. The history begins with Caleb Philips in 1728 creating the very first distance learning course, with lessons being delivered through emails. In the early 90s, the creation of automatic learning device dubbed “automatic teacher’ teacher was designed. However, failure of interest and investment to reach the masses lead to its’ downfall. An improvement of the “Automatic teacher” developed by B.F Skinner saw moderate success as the machine aimed at teaching the students and not just testing them as the predecessors’ inventions did. The most significant invention of all in the history of online learning technology was the computer system called PLATO (Programmed Logic for Automatic Teaching Operations) designed by Donald L. Bitzer in 1960. The primary use of PLATO was to deliver computer-based education to improve student literacy. Nevertheless, the device surpassed its intended purpose and became a cornerstone in e-learning, and became a direct ancestor to modern e-learning systems such as Blackboard and WebCT.

Computer managed instruction was then developed in 1966 and used to tutor elementary kids. The inventor Patrick Suppes of Stanford University backed his invention that the value of computers in education was individualized instructions. In the early 70s computers were invented for educational purposes and advances were made into internet formation as a means of sharing learning resources. An online education called Electronic University Network was established in 1983 to help universities and colleges to start utilizing online courses. The proceeding years marked high schools using personal computers for college and career guidance.

World Wide Web (WWW) in 1989 was invented by Tim Berners-Lee. The original purpose of its creation being information sharing between academic institutions around the world. The first online school that was accredited wholly as an online high school called “CampuHigh” was established in 1994, that served U.S nationals and International English-speaking students from grades 9 through 12.

Elliot Masie during Techlearn Conference in 1999 used the term “e-learning” in a professional context. In the same year, the first accredited online university, Jones International University. It offered online courses and diplomas in business and education. In 2002 MIT started offering online course materials and lectures free of charge through its OpenCourseWare project. In 2008 the term “MOOC”(Massive Open Online Course) is used. During 2012, it marked the year of MOOC with development of Coursera, Udacity and edX as learning platforms. Most universities by 2014 used E-learning with 98% of public colleges and universities offering fully online learning programs. As of 2018, the global E-learning market size reaches $168.8 billion. Currently, in 2020 most corporations use online learning, and many institutions have integrated their courses to be taken on the virtual space.

Online education has a rich history, and it has been evolving through time. With online education improvement and its platform keep changing too. The need for quality education for both corporate and institutions or even individuals, make them seek to buy class online that is of quality and accredited as valid. If you have purchased an online course but don’t seem to have time to complete it, contact us for online services, we guarantee quality work and delivery on time.