Usually the conversation goes something like this:
People: What do you do?
Me: I am a content developer... (then noticing the incomprehension writ on their faces) I am a writer.
People: Oh! so you are a journalist.
Me: No. I write. . .
People: Then how come you are not a journalist. What is it that you actually do?
Me: I teach. My organization is into creating elearning solutions.
People: So you are a teacher! Why did you not say so earlier? Which school. . .(then noticing my scowl). . .er. hmm..which college?
Me: Yes, I teach, but not in a college. I work for TIS. We make e-learning . . .
People: What TCS! Good!
Me: No. T - I - S -- Tata Interactive Systems (Should remember not to say TIS the next time). We are different from TCS.
People: (disappointed) What does TIS do?
Me: I told you. We provide elearning solutions.
People: What is this elearning?
Me: We teach. . (then noticing the suspicious look on their faces) we use technology to make learning effective. . .
People: Ah! (some comprehension) Computers!
Me: Yes! We make elearning packages. . .
People: So you make user manuals.
People: What do you do?
People: What is elearning?
Well it doesn't actually always go along the same lines (I took a considerable "artistic" liberty with the above conversation). But four people out of every five have a great difficulty understanding what elearning is (Oops! Does that make me a bad teacher?). And these are, after all, intelligent people. But when I try to tell them about Customized elearning, Computer based training, Web based training, Distributed Learning or I try to use jargon like Simulations, Story-based Learning, Enterprise Applications Training. . . Well, they just ask me to stop blathering (And these are the same people who nod intelligently at XML, Java Beans, XUL, Unix, databases, and arrays -- does that make any sense?).
Finally, there's an answer to my problems.
What is elearning?
Well, now you can click here and take a short elearning course (produced by Oxford eLearning and Moore eLearning) on What is e-learning (yeah, it is spelt that way too), How elearning can be used and the benefits of elearning.
And in case that interests you, click here to learn about the different categories of elearning.
If you haven't been scared off yet, click here to get an overview of online learning.
I hope that makes it clear.