Glossary of E-learning/Online Learning/Blended Learning Terms
- ACTIVE LEARNING: students are engaged in more activities than just listening. They are involved in dialog, debate, writing, and problem solving, as well as higher-order thinking, e.g., analysis, synthesis, evaluation. 
- ASYNCHRONOUS LEARNING: a type of online learning that can happen even if a student is offline. A student can study at their own pace and communicate with the classmates and a teacher by means of posting questions at forums and sending emails. When learners participate in an online learning course at different times. Asynchronous learning allows learners to go through a course at their own pace and on their own schedule. 
- BLENDED LEARNING: It is a combination of learning at a distance and the traditional on-site learning (in a class-room). Basically, students will have a (more or less) fixed schedule where they will have to attend a part of the classes at the educational institution and for the rest, they can make their own schedule, attend the rest of the classes and do their coursework and assignments online. It is a mix of learning modalities: live classroom instruction, virtual classroom instruction, self-paced eLearning, on-going performance support, social learning, and more. It is also referred to as hybrid learning. 
- DISTANCE LEARNING AND DISTANCE EDUCATION: Education that occurs when students and instructors not in the same location. There is often a geographic and time separation.  The learning can occur in a synchronous environment, in which all participants are connected at the same time or in an asynchronous environment, when participants are engaged in learning at different times.
- DISTANCE LEARNING VS E-LEARNING:
Distance learning, as the term implies, is where the student and the teacher are separated. This is usually used in more formal settings, and one party is usually present. This is often the teacher, who is delivering a class to the students who are present. Universities are offering distance learning degrees dedicated to everyone, as long as they meet entry requirements and qualifications.  So, it became possible for students from Europe for instance, to easily attend an American college without the need to travel.
e-learning, can refer to the situation where the interaction between the students and the teacher is done online.  Basically, the students receive the training and are taught through an online medium, even though the teacher may be in the same building with them. It is simply students’ and teacher’s choice for instruction.
- E-LEARNING: eLearning (short for electronic learning) refers to all types of training, education and instruction that occurs on a digital medium, like a computer or mobile phone. Learning facilitated and supported using information and communications technology (ICT).  Covers a spectrum of activities from supported learning, to blended/hybrid learning to entirely online delivery. The learning happens outside of a traditional classroom, by using an LMS to deliver learning materials and webinar services to replace a face-to-face communication. There are different eLearning techniques such as mLearning, blended learning, flipped learning, rapid learning, social learning etc. eLearning or electronic learning is education through any form of electronic device. 
- MICRO-LEARNING: A way of teaching that implies delivering eLearning content in small units (chunks, learning snacks) for better retention and higher engagement. 
- MOBILE LEARNING: implies delivering eLearning content in small units (chunks, learning snacks) for better retention and higher engagement. mobile learning is learning based on mobility often through mobile devices like smartphones, iPads, other tablets, and wearable technology. 
- ONLINE LEARNING: The term online learning is often used synonymously with eLearning. It is an umbrella term that includes any type of learning accomplished on a computer and usually over the Internet.
- PASSIVE LEARNING: It is a method of learning or instruction where students receive information from the instructor and internalize it, and "where the learner receives no feedback from the instructor". 
- SELF-PACED LEARNING: a type of learning directed by a student, not an instructor. A student determines the amount of time to study as well as a comfortable place to access the courses from. Self-paced learning refers to the type of instruction that allows a person to control the flow of the courseware. It implies the learning environment is asynchronous. 
- SYNCHRONOUS LEARNING: When learners participate in an online learning course at the same time but in different locations, it is known as synchronous learning. Synchronous learning allows learners to interact with the instructor and other participants. This is done through software that creates a virtual classroom. 
- BLENDED LEARNING Vs FLIPPED LEARNING (FLIPPED CLASSROOM):
Blended learning involves online and face-to-face instruction. Both are used alongside each other to provide a comprehensive learning experience. For example, a trainer might give learners a list of online resources they can use to broaden their understanding of the topic, or ask them to complete an online group project that centers on a subject they are currently discussing. In the case of blended learning, online materials do not take the place of face-to-face instruction; instead, the two modalities complement one another. They truly “blend” in order to create an enriched online training environment for the learner. 
The flipped classroom is another form of blended learning where a student is first exposed to new material outside of class, usually in the form of an online presentation. There is a divide between the technology and face-to-face elements of the learning experience. A learner is asked to watch an eLearning video or participate in another online learning exercise BEFORE coming to class. In the classroom the new materials are explored at-length. In most cases, the knowledge that is learned online is applied in the classroom.
- COMPUTER-BASED TRAINING (CBT): CBT refers to any type of course that runs on a computer, either on a CD, on a person’s hard drive or on the Internet. The distinguishing point is that computer-based training does not involve an instructor or facilitator who is physically present. Now that most computer-based training occurs via the Internet; the term is used infrequently. More common terms are online learning, eLearning and Web-based Training (WBT). 
- FLIPPED LEARNING (FLIPPED CLASSROOM): It is a model of teaching in which students learn new content online by watching video lectures, usually at home, and what used to be homework is now done in class with teachers offering more personalized guidance and interaction with students, instead of lecturing. The main idea of flipped learning is converting a regular class to a workshop, where students put the knowledge they obtained inside the classroom into practice, engaging and collaborating with each other.  As opposed to traditional learning when students are “listeners”, flipped learning model converts students into active participants. All attention is turned to students, not a teacher.
- MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses): free online courses offered by top colleges and universities. The main idea is to give an opportunity to study to anyone independently of income and location.  A fee is applied only if a student wants to get a certificate to confirm the knowledge.
- ONLINE COURSES: A series of lessons most often delivered through a web browser or app on desktop or mobile devices. An online course is a web-based environment for learning that often includes learning activities, assessments, discussions and various types of learning resources. 
- VIRTUAL CLASSROOM: The virtual classroom refers to a digital classroom learning environment that takes place over the Internet rather than in a physical classroom.  It is implemented through software that allows an instructor and students to interact.
Online learning components
- ONLINE: Online, in a generic sense, refers to when an electronic device is on and connected to other devices, such as another computer, a network or a device such as a printer. More recently, the term online has come to mean connected to the Internet. Online content refers to any material available on the Web which includes text, images, animations, music and videos.
- TEXT: Text is an important block of online learning since its inception. For ages, text based online courses have been used for asynchronous learning.
- VIDEO: Video is an important building blocks of e-learning. videos provide a great level of interaction; provides a lot of information in a short amount of time and facilitates storytelling. 
Offline learning components
- LABORATORY: A place equipped for experimental study in a science or for testing and analysis
- LECTURE: A lecture is a formal presentation conducted by an instructor for facilitating knowledge transfer on a specific topic/subject.
- COURSEWARE: Courseware refers to any instructional software that is delivered on a computer. 
- HTML5 (Hypertext Markup Language): A markup language used to design courses accessible on mobile devices.
- INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN: Instructional design involves analyzing learner or organizational needs and developing instruction to meet those needs.  Instructional designers base their learning decisions on cognitive psychology, instructional theory and best practices. Instructional designers typically use technology, such as authoring tools and learning management systems (LMSs), to create course content. As part of this process, they may bring in subject matter experts (SMEs), LMS consultants, designers and technical experts to assist in the development and implementation of their learning program. 
- INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGNER: An instructional designer is a designer of educational experiences. Instructional designers typically have a structured methodology for defining learning outcomes, the means to assess if the outcomes are met, and an instructional strategy for transferring the knowledge. 
- INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES: Means by which the content and skills are transferred from the training delivery system to the learner. Examples include: demonstrations, role plays, hands-on activities, practice, simulations, discussion, lecture, illustrated diagrams, step-by-step review; self-study exercises, reviews, on-the-job training, practice with coaching, video demonstrations, examples, etc. Often organized by these categories: pre-instructional activities, content presentations, learner practice, feedback, and closure. 
- LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (LMS): Software (web) application used for creation, managing and delivering eLearning content as well as communication with students and tracking their performance. There are Learning Management Systems hosted in the cloud and installed at the clients’ websites.  The courses are either created with the help of native LMS tools such as documents, quizzes, links or uploaded as SCORM/AICC packages. LMS provides instructors with a way to create and deliver content, monitor learner participation, and assess learning performance. An LMS provide interactive features such as threaded discussions, video conferencing, and discussion forums, etc. Examples include Moodle, WebCT (Blackboard), and Sakai. 
- OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE: 1) A program in which the source code is available to the public for use and/or modification from its original design free of charge, ie, open. Open source code is typically created as a collaborative effort in which programmers improve upon the code and share the changes within the community. 2) Software that meets each of nine requirements listed by the non-profit Open Source Initiative in its Open Source Definition. 
- SME (SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT): An individual who is recognized as having proficient knowledge about and skills in the topic or subject which is being taught in the e-learning/online course. 
- STORYBOARDING: The process of illustrating an eLearning or training course through text and mockups. Storyboards typically include screens that outline placeholders for learning elements that are to be developed. They are helpful in visually communicating ideas and concepts, as well as helping teams get organized and aligned on the development plans for their eLearning or training programs. 
- XML (THE EXTENSIBLE MARKUP LANGUAGE): A language that sets rules for encoding documents into a standard format that is both human-readable and machine-readable. The XML language makes documents and other encoded material appear with the same format on different devices. 
Other models and standards
- LTI (LEARNING TOOLS INTEROPERABILITY): Learning tools interoperability (LTI) is a standard developed by the IMS Global Consortium that provides a standard means to integrate learning content and tools from third-party vendors. It is a framework within which an LMS sends information about a learner to a third-party tool or software, enabling single sign-on, data exchange and a seamless user experience. 
- ADDIE MODEL: A conceptual and iterative application model for instructional systems design; the components include: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation. The ADDIE model is a framework used by eLearning professionals to create course content. ADDIE offers a traditional, yet still widely used, approach to instructional design. 
- PEDAGOGY: An educational approach characterized by teacher-centeredness. The teacher is viewed as an authority figure and students are not generally involved in decisions/actions regarding learning.
- SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model): Collection of specifications that enable interoperability, accessibility, and reusability of e-learning content. It is collection of standards ensuring content compatibility with any SCORM compliant LMS. A SCORM compatible content is created with authoring tools and can be reused and transferred to a new LMS with no need to spend money and efforts on the content remaking. 
- KIRKPATRICK’S FOUR LEVELS OF EVALUATION: Concepts developed by Donald Kirkpatrick describing four levels for measuring the effectiveness of training (Reaction, learning, behavior, results). 
- LEARNER ANALYSIS: Data collected about learner group that is used to impact decisions throughout the instructional process. Components include learner group identification, general characteristics, numbers, and location, experience level, attitude, and skills that impact the training delivery system. 
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