We see eLearning, knowledge management (KM), and electronic performance support systems (EPSS) as a continuum, not separate entities.
Learning enabled by technology... improving accessibility and effectiveness ... placing the learner in control ... the model of learning for today's societal/organisational needs (linked, connected, open).
Darwin Magazine : E-learning's predecessors have been around since Plato, first in the form of instructor-led classroom education and more recently in computer-based training or programmed instruction via audiocassettes, videoconferencing and CD-ROMs. What's different is the shift in thinking from a traditional classroom exercise in learning to the concept of obtaining just the right amount of knowledge, at just the right time and in just the right setting. Next-generation e-learning differs from other forms of education in that it eliminates the barriers of time and distance, and personalizes the user's experience.
More about eLearning
Knowledge management (KM) is about delivering the right knowledge to the right people at the right time. KM is represented by large and small efforts to collect lessons learned in an organization in a way that facilitates continuous updates and wide distribution. Getting a grip on this knowledge, accumulating it, nurturing it, updating it, and making it vital are at the heart of KM.
More KM definitions: What is KM
Electronic help/support available to employees/students when it is needed.
Gery: “the use of technology to provide on-demand access to integrated information, guidance, advice, assistance, training, and tools to enable high-level job performance with a minimum of support from other people. "
Raybould: “computer-based system that improves worker productivity by providing on-the-job access to integrated information, advice and learning experiences"
In summary, a PSS is a system that provides the user with information, guidance, and learning experiences where ever and whenever a user needs it.
More info: What
So, eLearning is basically about learning, KM is about generating organizational value from "what is known/exists", and EPSS is focused on providing support for people at the time of need .
To align them by strategic role in an organisation: eLearning is created to ensure staff/student competence in a certain area ... knowledge is captured and placed into the "system" to ensure information is "fresh"/current ... EPSS delivers the blend of eLearning/KM to people when needed. Currently, they are not at all integrated in most organisations. We think they should be. They should all feed off the same database.