Technology enhanced learning

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Technology enhanced learning or technology-enabled learning (TEL) or technology-enhanced education (TEE) does not have a commonly accepted precise definition: DSchneider thinks that there at least five perceptions:

  1. TEL is a synonym for any sort of educational technologies
  2. TEL is a synonym for e-learning or
  3. TEL can refer to technology-enhanced classrooms (which in turn can mean either a classroom with hardware or ICT use in classroom teaching) or
  4. TEL can express an attitude in favor of "seamless" (or integrated) interactive learning environments as opposed to content-driven SCORM-like e-learning environments. As example see: One-to-one TEL or technologies used in project-oriented instructional designs or CSCL designs.
  5. TEL can mean learning with technology (with cognitive tools) as opposed to learning by/through technology.
  • As an example of a large definition we can list "focus areas" of University of Missouri-Rolla's Center for Technology enhanced learning: Peer-to-peer learning applications, participatory simulation, virtual reality, Sharable Learning Objects and Distributed Learning Environments (e.g. main stream e-learning), Interactive learning system, technology enabled classrooms.
  • Example of e-learning-like definition: “Technology enhanced learning leverages technology to maximize learning within an environment of sound course design that can offer students the options of time, place, and pace and emphasizes different learning styles.” (TEL Committee, University of Texas: p. 6)
  • Example of a seamless learning perspective: “Seamless learning implies that a student can learn whenever they are curious in a variety of scenarios and that they can switch from one scenario to another easily and quickly using the personal device as a mediator. These scenarios include learning individually, with another student, a small group, or a large online community, with possible involvement of teachers,mentors, parents, librarians, workplace professionals, and members of other supportive communities, face-to-face or at a distance in places such as classroom, campus, home, workplace, zoo, park, and outdoors.” (One-To-One Technology-Enhanced Learning, retrieved 18:30, 17 July 2006 (MEST)).

We believe, that TEL could be used for designing any kind of technology-supported learning in presential and blended settings that has a strongly activity-based, i.e. TEL could be opposed to content-centered and machine-driven e-learning.

See also: learning environment and the whole discussion around educational modelling languages.

Other identical concepts

  • Computer-Based Learning Environment (CBLE) - Salomon (1992),
  • Computer enhanced learning environment
  • Technology-intensive learning environment (TILE) - Salomon (1994)
  • Enriched learning and information environment (ELIE) - Goodrum, Dorsey and Schwen (1993).
  • Technology-integrated Learning


  • TELS hosted at UC Berkeley is a good example of an ambitious TEL project that includes research, development and field work.


  • Basque, Josianne and Sylvie Doré (1998). Le concept d'environnement d'apprentissage informatisé, Journal of Distance Education/Revue de l'enseignement à distance, ISSN: 0830-0445, HTML
  • Collins, A., Greeno, J.G., et Resnick, L.B. (1994). Learning environments. Dans T. Husen et T.N. Poslethwaite (Eds.), The international encyclopedia of education (2e édition, volume 3, p. 3297-3302). Oxford : Elsevier Scienc.
  • Goodrum, D.A., Dorsey, L.T., et Schwen, T.M. (1993). Defining and building an enriched learning and information environment. Educational Technology, XXXIII(11), 10-20.
  • Chan, Tak-Wai et al. (2006), Research and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning Vol. 1, No. 1 (2006) 3-29, World Scientific Publishing Company & Asia-Pacific Society for Computers in Education. PDF
  • Report of the Technology Enhanced Learning Committee (2004), The University of Texas at Austin, November 2004,PDF
  • Salomon, G. (1992). Effects with and of computers and the study of computer-based learning environments. Dans E. DeCorte, M.C. Linn, H. Mandl et L. Verschaffel (Eds.), Computer-based Learning Environments and Problem Solving (p. 249-263). Berlin : Springer-Verlag.
  • Salomon, G. (1994). Differences in patterns : Studying computer enhanced learning environments. Dans S. Voniadou, E. De Corte et H. Mandl (Eds.), Technology-based learning environments : Psychological and educational foundations (p. 79-85). Berlin : Springer-Verlag.