xLearning – The Experience


I’ve lost count but many years ago the lower-case “e” preceded the word “mail” and gave us “e-mail.” Just recently, the AP released its new style guidelines for the word (or is it a term?). It is now referred to officially as email, or Email if it starts a sentence.

I will be the first to admit I am no English whiz nor claim that I know if my grammar is correct, but it seems to me we keep coming up with new ways to name and spell things. How can I keep up with my own grammatical skills when all these new words and terms keep showing up? I will take a stab and say it is when all the single word internet domain names were gobbled up. It is then we started combining words together as one word. Are we out of control?


The whole e before a word spawned a new language: e-book, e-commerce, e-business, e-whatever, and of course our beloved e-learning. ELearning, too has come under some fierce discussion about whether it should be spelled elearning, e-learning, eLearning, or Elearning. As well, what does that little e really mean anyway? Assumptions here, but my guess is the e introduced for email was short for “electronic mail” which made perfect sense. Yet, does the e for elearning suggest electronic learning? When we refer to elearning we are typically referring to online learning in the form of courses, modules, etc. delivered electronically, so the e sticks and it works in that context. For now.


mLearning (or is it spelled mlearning, m-learning or Mlearning?) is for mobile learning, but is it not also electronic learning? If we build elearning courses for mobile devices, is it no longer elearning and now mlearning? Maybe we should name it meLearning. I like that: m stands for mobile, e stands for electronic, and together “me” stands for…well, me. I am the learner and it’s all about me, right?


Not sure where saw this one, but now there is the word gLearning. This word/term was referring to games for learning. Wait…is gLearning a word, a term or, is it a concept, an ideology? So, let’s recap: elearning (online course) is delivered via a mobile device that has been gamified (yep, that’s a new word, too) is now called gemLearning.


It is all very confusing I know and I can only imagine what people must think just entering this industry. No worries though as I am officially introducing a new word/term – xLearning.

Let’s break that down. In math, the x is commonly used as a variable. In this case, the usage of this term is flexible enough to use anywhere under any circumstances. The nature of the variable also leaves a bit of anticipation of the unexpected. “Ooh, xLearning! I wonder what it is…mobile, a game?”

Most importantly though is the x stands for experiential learning. In the end, isn’t that what we are striving to achieve for our learners? An experience.

No go, freely distribute xLearning and share its powerful new meaning!

Want more like this? Sign up for updates!


  1. says

    Good stuff, Kevin. I’d like everyone to stop spending dozens of dollars and wasting so much time arguing about what to call it, and do a better job actually designing and developing it. What is “it”? LEARNING. Period. I don’t mlearn. I don’t elearn. I don’t care what you call it. I just learn.

  2. Brent Schlenker says

    Hey Kevin! Don’t forget bLearning. I talked about Blog-Learning on…well…my blog. But now I like it as my personal term for learning BrentLearning 😉
    BTW – it’s good to see you BLearning again!!!

    • Anonymous says

       bLearning. I like it. Forgive me for not including it.

      And thanks…it needs to be a weekly thing if I can ever discipline myself.

    • Chief NuggetHead says

      bLearning. I like it!

      And thanks! Just gotta get disciplined more than every other month.

  3. Tracy Parish says

    Great posting Kevin. When the proper spelling confuses even the experts or seasoned vets of the field my sympathies go out to the newbies that are just beginning to join the elearning world. The amount of time, and as Brian said, money that is spent on discussing the proper writing is troublesome. As you point out, more focus and attention needs to be placed on the design and development of better learning experiences (e-, E, or plain e) and not the method of delivery.

  4. Lindsey Wright says

    Hey Kevin,

    Sorry for leaving a (sort of) unrelated comment, but I couldn’t find any contact info on the blog, and I wanted to ask about a guest post following up on this topic a bit. Please drop me an e-mail! (Yes, with the hyphen!)



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>