Glossary of eLearning Terms

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | K | L | M | N | O | P | R | S | T | U | V | W | Z

the recognition or certification of an institution that has been reviewed and meets specific measures of quality.

a fluctuating electronic signal used for storing and transferring data. The continuous nature of analog signals makes it relatively difficult to store, manipulate, and transfer data. Analog signals are transmitted slower than digital signals.

a small program or application that runs on a browser and enables additional features like animation.

a software program that allows a user to perform specific tasks like word processing, email, accounting, database management.

Asynchronous Learning
learning where people are not online at the same time and interaction does not occur without a time delay, allowing people to participate on their schedules. Examples are email, discussion groups, and self-paced courses delivered via Internet or CD-ROM.

Audio Conferencing
voice-only connection between three or more locations.

Back to Top

the capacity of a communication channel to carry information. The greater the bandwidth, the faster the data transfer. The amount of data sent or received over any given time is limited by bandwidth.

BBS (bulletin board system)
a system maintained by a host computer for posting information, carrying on discussions, uploading and downloading files, chatting, and other online services. BBSs are generally created for a specific group of users and are usually topic-specific.

Blended Learning
an increasingly popular combination of online and in-person learning activities, also known as hybrid education.

Blog (Weblog)
a public web site where users post informal journals of their thoughts, comments, and philosophies, updated frequently and normally reflecting the views of the blog’s creator.

a transmission channel able to simultaneously carry multiple signals.

software for interacting with , accessing, and viewing information on the Internet or created in HTML. Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator are the two most widely used browsers.

one character that can be a letter, number, or symbol.

Back to Top

Cable Modem
a device that uses coaxial cables to transmit data faster than telephone line modems and roughly equivalent to modems using DSL telephone service.

CBT (Computer-Based Training)
training conducted using a computer, often used when referring to education or training presented while a computer is not connected to a network.

CD-ROM (compact disk read-only memory)
an electronic data storage medium that uses optical technology for storing and playing back audio, video, text, and other information in digital form.

a valued credential awarded in several fields that proves competency upon satisfactory demonstration of particular knowledge and skills.

An online, real-time interactive communication method using text to send and receive instant messages.

internet-based computing, where shared applications, resources and services are made available to users on demand via the Internet from a ‘cloud’ service provider.

a small text file placed on your hard by a web site to record information about you. When you return, your computer serves up the “cookie” to the web site and previously recorded information such as your name, site login/password, preferences, shopping cart info, and more are passed along. The web page is then customized based on that information.

educational software that delivers course material and instruction via computer.

Back to Top

the method of getting information to the user via Internet, CD-ROM, books, instructors, and other mediums.

an Internet connection achieved through telephone lines using a modem.

A discrete electronic signal used for storing and transferring data. The non-continuous nature of digital signals makes it relatively easy to store, manipulate, and transfer data. Digital signals are transmitted faster than analog signals.

Discussion Forums
a place where people can exchange messages of common interest.

Distance Education
education designed for delivery where students and instructors not in the same location.

Distance Learning
often used synonymously with Distance Education; distinct as an outcome of Distance Education.

Distributed Learning
often used synonymously with Distance Learning; distinct in that it is the outcome of education that combines a blend of online and traditional delivery methods.

a file transfer from one computer to yours.

DSL (digital subscriber line)
an Internet access method for high-speed data transfer over telephone lines.

DVD (digital versatile disk)
an electronic data storage medium that uses optical technology for storing and playing back audio, video, text, and other information in digital form, but with far greater capacity than CDs.

Back to Top

learning that is accomplished over the Internet, a computer network, via CD-ROM, interactive TV, or satellite broadcast.

short for electronic mail; primarily text messages sent between two computers.

End User
the person or persons who will be using a particular technology and for whom it is designed.

Back to Top

an instructor who assists, directs, and stimulates the learning during an online course.

FAQ (frequently asked questions)
highly useful, a list of common questions about a particular topic, product, or service directed primarily at new users.

File Server
a computer that stores and manages files and software on a computer network, giving users the capability of sharing information and other resources.

specialized hardware or software designed to secure a computer or network from unauthorized access.

FTP (file transfer protocol)
an Internet protocol for transferring files between two computers. Most browsers incorporate FTP software to download and upload files.

Back to Top

GB (gigabyte)
a gigabyte is 1000 megabytes, or 1,073,741,824 characters and is roughly equivalent to a thousand novels.

GUI (graphical user interface)
a computer interface that presents information in a user-friendly way using pictures and icons.

Back to Top

Home page
the opening page or main document that appears when you visit a web site, usually contains links to other web pages.

a computer system on a network that distributes and receives information from other computers.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)
computer code used to structure text and images for viewing with a browser.

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)
an Internet application protocol used for exchanging information over the world wide web.

Hybrid Education
a blend of online and on-campus education shown to be a more effective than either method of education alone.

highlighted text in a web page that links the user to additional related information.

Back to Top

ILT (Instructor-led Training)
delivery of a course in a traditional classroom setting wherein an instructor guides a group of learners.

Instructional Designer
the person who develops the methodology and delivery systems for presenting course content.

Interactive multimedia
allows two-way interaction with multimedia course material, another computer, or another user with direct response to the input, as opposed to one-way communication from TV, video, and other non-responsive media. Interactive attributes commonly include data or text entry, mouse input, touch screens, voice commands, video capture, and real-time interaction.

the global network of regional and local computer networks.

an internal computer network owned by a company or organization and accessible only to designated staff.

ISDN (integrated digital services network)
a telecommunications line that is able to carry data, voice, and video simultaneously.

Back to Top

KB (kilobyte)
a kilobyte is 1042 characters (bytes), roughly equivalent to one page of double-spaced text.

Knowledge Management
the collection, organization, analysis, and sharing of information held by workers and groups within an organization.

Back to Top

LAN (local area network)
a group of networked computers in relative proximity to one another that allows users to communicate and share information and other devices such as file servers, printers, and modems.

hypertext that is usually underlined to indicate a pointer to additional related information.

an automatic email service that users subscribe to in order to receive future mailings. Users must be a member of the list to receive mail, and can choose to unsubscribe at any time.

Log in/on
the act of providing a user name and password to gain access to another computer, application, web site, or file.

Log off/out
the act of disconnecting from another computer, application, web site, or file.

Back to Top

MB (megabyte)
one megabyte is 1,048,576 bytes and is roughly equivalent to one novel. A floppy disk stores 1.44MB, CDs over 600MB, and DVDs are capable of holding up to 17GBs (or 17,000MBs) of information!

an HTML code line that identifies the contents of the web page to search engine indexes.

MOdulator/DEModulator, a device that converts digital signals to analog for transmission, and analog signals back to digital upon reception.

an audio, video, email, or application broadcast over the web, from one computer to many.

the combination of text, graphics, audio, colors to create used to present information in an engaging and dynamic way.

Back to Top

etiquette on the Internet, best used when sending email, chatting, posting messages, and using limited resources.

a group of computers and peripheral devices (like printers and modems) connected to allow users to communicate and share information and resources.

an information exchange forum where notes about a particular topic are posted and shared.

Back to Top

a traditional classroom instructional setting.

connected to the Internet or another computer.

Online learning
an umbrella term used to describe any education or training that occurs online.

Back to Top

software programs that enhance your browser and allow it to perform additional tasks such as playing audio, displaying video, and viewing documents as an integrated function of the browser.

web site that is a major starting point or gateway to additional information on the Internet, sometimes general (like Yahoo!) and sometimes specific (like World Wide Learn).

used as a noun for messages “posted” to BBSs, newsgroups, blogs, etc.

Back to Top

Real-time communication
communication with little or no delay; synchronous interaction.

Rich content
high quality course or web page material, often presented using advanced or sophisticated design techniques employed to emphasize the message or learning.

Back to Top

Self-paced learning
learning that is done asynchronously, such as from CD-ROM or over the Internet without an instructor, where the user controls the flow of course material.

a computer with large storage capacity that serves out files, applications, and other resources.

interactive multimedia presentations designed to model real scenarios and which allow the user to participate and experience without risk.

SME (subject matter expert)
one who has demonstrated competency and mastery in a particular subject or topic.

computer programming code that provides a computer with instructions to perform specific tasks; a program or application.

unsolicited email.

a technique where media (audio, video, or both) are downloaded to the user’s computer in a continuous stream and played upon arrival.

Synchronous learning
Learning where people are online at the same time and interaction occurs without a time delay (real-time) and which requires them to attend at specific times.

Back to Top

video or audio conferences conducted over telecommunications channels such as telephone lines, local area networks, and the Internet.

24 hours per day, seven days a week. Refers to availability of a service, product, person, or information.

Back to Top

a file transfer from your computer to another.

URL (uniform resource locator)
the address used to identify a page or file on the Internet.

User interface
the components of a computer system that the operator uses to interact with the computer – the screen display, keyboard, mouse, touch controls, etc.

Back to Top

Video Conferencing
live video and audio communication between three or more locations.

not physical.

Virtual classroom
the area where students and instructors interact online.

Virtual community
a community on the Internet where people share common interests; an online community.

Back to Top

the World Wide Web consortium, whose mission it is to create standards and specifications for the World Wide Web.

WBT (web-based training)
education or training delivered over the Internet and accessible using a browser. May incorporate the use of an instructor or facilitator.

Web page
an HTML file or document; part of a web site.

Web site
a group of related web pages that includes a home page.

WWW (World Wide Web)
as defined by the World Wide Web consortium, “The World Wide Web is the universe of network-accessible information, an embodiment of human knowledge.” Alternatively, the web is the collection of users and resources on the Internet that use HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol).

WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get)
computer text and graphics that will print exactly as they appear on the screen.

Back to Top

Zip file
a file that has been reduced in size to allow faster transferring between computers, or to save storage space. Originated with PKWARE, the technique is widely used and the term is used frequently to describe any compressed file. Some compressed files have the .EXE extension, indicating the file is self-extracting.

Back to Top