One of the fastest growing areas of NATO’s education and training capabilities is the use of technology to deliver or enhance traditional training methods. This electronic learning (e-Learning) is an important tool to provide education, training and performance support to personnel from NATO and partner nations in a cost-efficient way. Its capabilities can provide an unlimited number of forces effective, relevant high quality education and training to increase mission readiness.

e-Learning technologies encompass Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL), Computer-Based Training (CBT), immersive learning, mobile learning (m-Learning) and collaborative learning.


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e-Learning is education and training that is delivered electronically through a computer or other device. In comparison to traditional types of instruction, e-Learning can provide students with greater access to learning opportunities, enabling them to learn conveniently at their own pace, independent of location, whenever and wherever they choose. By allowing downloadable or media-based materials or by live connection to a NATO network, including the Internet, e-Learning provides tools that enable synchronous or asynchronous distance learning. It can be utilised to provide a complete standalone course or be used as part of a blended learning programme that supports existing training courses as pre-learning teaching material or as post-course reference.

Key principles of NATO’s e-Learning initiative include:

  • Effective, efficient and affordable: Concise instruction based on NATO current and strategic priorities is delivered globally through multiple methods and requires little investment to use.
  • Improved nation and partner engagement: Courseware is readily available on networks, enabling personnel just-in-time acquisition of knowledge and skills to effectively contribute to the NATO mission.
  • Incorporated guidance: Standards and guidelines for developing an e-Learning capability are available to education and training institutions.