Online learning glossary

Online learning guide

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

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

Application – 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.

Bandwidth – 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 increasing popular combination of online and in-person learning activities.

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.

Browser – 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.

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.

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

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

Courseware – educational software that delivers course material and instruction via computer.

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

Digital – 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; it is distinct in that it is the outcome of education that combines a blend of online and traditional delivery methods.

Download - a file transfer from one computer to yours.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 the 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.

Internet – the global network of regional and local computer network.

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

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.

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

Listserv – 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.

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

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

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

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

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

Online – being connected to the Internet or another computer.

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

Plug-in – 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.

Real-time communication – communication with little or no delay.

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

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.

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

Streaming – 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.

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

24/7 – 24 hours per day, seven days a week. Refers to availability of a service, product, person, or information.

Upload – a file transfer from your computer to another.

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.

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

Virtual - 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.

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.

One Response to “Online learning glossary”

  1. Loristene Hopkins says:

    Very educational and informative but a lot to remember especially for individuals with little knowledge of computers and computer languages.

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