Here's the second and last part of our glossary of e-learning lingo. You can find the first part by following this link.
A sub-field of AI dedicated to computer systems that are not coded to do a task but learn to perform it by finding patterns in a learning data set. The most well-known example is object recognition, a.k.a. computer vision. You feed an algorithm a thousand cat photos, it finds patterns in shapes and colors, and then it can hopefully differentiate a cat from a four-legged table on brand new pictures. In e-learning, ML algorithms are used to recommend or even compile personalized courses based on previous user activity, for example.
The SCORM package file describing the course's structure and contents, a sort of instruction to the LMS on how to read and present the course. The SCORM package is a .zip folder that contains all the course content. The manifest file (imsmanifest.xml) must be in the root of the zipped package; otherwise, you won't be able to import the course into your LMS correctly.
MASSIVE OPEN ONLINE COURSE (MOOC)
An open online course aimed at unlimited participation.
A score a learner must achieve to pass a SCORM module (when such a score is required.)
The delivery of training content in short bursts. Unlike bite-sized learning, which is more about narrowing learning objectives, microlearning is all about the mode of delivery (which makes it ideal for delivering bite-sized learning modules, just-in-time, and mobile learning).
MOBILE LEARNING (mLEARNING)
Any e-learning delivered on a mobile device (smartphone or tablet).
A basic building block of a course. A module can contain any course material, such as a video, SCORM file, exam, or survey.
A software architecture in which a single software instance serves multiple tenants. A tenant is a group of users with common access to the dedicated share of the instance. This share has its own data, configuration, user management, tenant functionality, and non-functional properties, which create a unique, tailored environment. For example, an LMS can have tailored sets of content, features, and branding for different departments, locations, and external partners.
A set of instructional design principles developed by Richard E. Meyer, Roxana Moreno, and John Sweller. Their theory states that presenting the same content verbally and visually at the same time makes a student mentally cross-reference it in working memory, which improves learning. Therefore, the most optimal configuration would be narrated video content. However, adding anything on top of it (background music, written text besides animation) may cause cognitive overload.
Pre-made content ready for immediate use and sold as is, with no personalization or modification, as opposed to bespoke content.; also referred to as "ready-to-go content."
The type of e-learning that provides learners with training content in real-time, at their convenience.
A form of onboarding and acquiring new skills in a real or close to real, simulated working environment.
Integrating a new employee, partner, or customer into an organization, familiarizing them with the organization's products and services and transferring skills and knowledge necessary for their role.
Any form of learning conducted via the Internet, also referred to as e-learning and web-based learning.
The leading standard for packaging and embedding information about achievements into a portable image file acting as a digital badge, developed by Mozilla.
A software with source code publicly available for collaborative development, free use, and modification. Drupal is an example of open-source software used for content management. And Opigno is an example of a Drupal-based open-source learning management system.
A part of extended enterprise training for the organization's business that includes product training, sales training, support training, or marketing guidance for franchisees, vendors, stakeholders, etc.
The study, methodology, and practice of teaching and education. Derived from the Greek for "to lead a child," pedagogy is centered around the teacher's role and selecting the best methods to convey knowledge and skills to learners.
PERSONAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT (PLE)
A network of the tools, communities, and services that learners select, organize, and draw connections from to direct their own learning and pursue educational goals, as opposed to the model in which students consume information through independent channels such as the library, a textbook, or an LMS.
Or Learner Personas, are detailed user profiles used by Instructional Designers to understand their learners' goals, interests, educational background, and skills and design relevant courses.
PLATFORM AS A SERVICE (PaaS)
On-demand access to a ready-to-use, cloud-hosted platform for developing, running, maintaining, and managing applications.
A learner-centered teaching method that uses real-world, open-ended issues as the classroom's subject matter. As students work in small groups to develop a solution, they gain not only knowledge but also knowledge acquisition and problem-solving skills, and learn to collaborate, be proactive, and employ critical thinking.
Copyrighted software with a single provider that controls its technology. It's primarily non-free and can be bought, leased, or licensed from its publisher, vendor, or developer. Proprietary software is also called closed-source software or commercial software.
A list of questions used to compile a test, exam, or survey.
RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)
A ratio of the profit earned on an investment versus the cost of the investment. In learning departments, ROI can be calculated by comparing the training cost to the tangible results, e.g., employee time savings, reduced turnover, product quality improvement, etc., or by comparing its costs to the historical costs of face-to-face training.
An active learning method; interactive exercises where learners play roles in a conversation or other interaction to explore realistic situations, gain experience, and trial different strategies in a supported environment.
A support system a trainer provides to a learner as they embark on a new concept or skill, e.g., by solving an example task or dividing a task into manageable chunks. As the learner progresses, the need for guidance is reduced, and support is slowly removed so the learner can proceed without assistance.
An ability of an LMS to handle more concurrent users, more courses, and more requests without affecting the system's performance.
An active learning method using interactive exercises where learners are put in specific scenarios and pick their own path based on their choices, also known as branching scenarios.
A .zip file or a simple directory with course contents created for upload to a SCORM-compliant LMS. The typical package contains:
Manifest File that describes the structure and contents of the course for the LMS to read and present the course properly.
Run-Time that instructs the LMS on how to launch the content and defines how it communicates back to the LMS.
Sequencing – a set of rules and attributes for learner navigation between course sections, like bookmarks and scoring assessments.
A learning process initiated, organized, conducted, and evaluated by the learner, without the guidance of an instructor.
The type of e-learning where the learners take a course at their own timing and pace, also known as asynchronous learning.
A learner's ability to understand and manage their behavior and reactions to external events and regulate strong emotions.
SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENT (SLA)
A contract between a service provider and a customer that defines performance standards and services to be provided.
SHARABLE CONTENT OBJECT (SCO)
A chunk of learning content that communicates to an LMS used to create a course in the form of the SCORM package.
SHARABLE CONTENT OBJECT REFERENCE MODEL (SCORM)
E-learning development specification and standard for building transferable and reusable courses, tracking learner progress, and score assessment. SCORM defines how online learning content speaks and tracks results back to an LMS. Originally developed as the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative by the Office of the United States Secretary of Defense, now it's the most commonly used e-learning standard.
A simulated scenario created to prepare learners for real-world situations and practice skills in a risk-free environment; it's a digital equivalent of face-to-face roleplaying. The simulation can target a computer system, machinery, a living organism, or an activity, and its key goal is to make user interactions as realistic as possible.
SINGLE SIGN-ON (SSO)
An authentication service that allows users to sign into multiple platforms using a single set of credentials.
A learning approach developed by Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger where a learner is "situated" in the learning experience, e.g., field trips or internships, and constructs their knowledge by connecting prior knowledge with authentic, informal, and often unintended contextual learning.
SKILL GAP ANALYSIS
Measuring the difference between a person's current skill level and the required one.
SMALL PRIVATE ONLINE COURSES (SPOC)
A localized instance of a Massive Open Online Course used in a business-to-business context – with limited enrollment for individual learners or small teams within organizations.
Learning theory, proposed by Albert Bandura, stating that human behavior learning happens through observing and imitating others. And as we apply these mechanisms automatically and instinctively, we learn more efficiently in a group. In online learning, the term refers to technologies and strategies that incorporate interpersonal communication and socialization into distance training.
SOFTWARE AS A SERVICE (SaaS)
Ready-to-use application software distributed to end users on demand by a cloud provider over the Internet, usually on a subscription basis. SaaS doesn't require local hardware installations, maintenance, and upgrades, as it's hosted externally by the vendor that takes on the software development and maintenance.
A learning method based on Ebbingaus's "forgetting curve" theory stating that repetition of the material after certain intervals enhances knowledge retention.
In e-learning, an approach to the development of content or software agreed upon between several bodies or organizations.
A specification recognized by a governing body like IEEE or ISO. Popular e-learning standards include SCORM, xAPI, and AICC.
A learning approach that uses storytelling as a teaching tool. This model stems from the narrative paradigm stating that humans define, process, and organize their experiences and perceptions in the form of narratives, which makes them an effective means of communication, contextualizing abstract concepts, and scaffolding. Unlike scenario-based training that puts a learner in a constructed setting with various paths, storytelling leads the learner through a precise journey.
An outline, or a blueprint, of the learning course design describing the visuals, text, and audio elements, their sequence, interactions, and navigation.
SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT (SME)
An expert in a subject covered in a course. Subject matter experts work with instructional designers to develop accurate and engaging content. Not to be confused with "SME," as in "Small/Medium Enterprise."
SUCCESS CASE METHOD
Evaluation theory designed by Robert Brinkerhoff stating that one needs to evaluate the most and least successful cases of a new initiative to determine what factors affect the result the most and how they can be leveraged to a greater number of people.
SUCCESSIVE APPROXIMATION MODEL (SAM)
An agile framework for instructional designers and training developers. The basic SAM model consists of three steps: Preparation, Iterative Design, and Iterative Development, with iterative steps repeated and revisited to solve any pain points.
The type of instructor-led learning where all learners take a course simultaneously, in real-time.
A computerized model of a system for practicing working in it in a safe environment.
TALENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (TMS)
A software suite for talent management. It integrates the entire talent lifecycle management: recruitment, performance, L&D, compensation, and succession. In addition, TMS can be integrated with a learning management system for L&D purposes.
TIN CAN API
A former name for xAPI, an e-learning specification that collects data about users' online and offline activities in a consistent format readable for almost any e-learning system, thus enabling them to communicate.
TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT (T&D)
A subset of Human Resources (HR) that aims to provide employees with the skills and knowledge necessary to do their jobs by planning and organizing employee training and developing and evaluating the quality of corporate training programs.
A structured section of a course that focuses on a specific objective or topic.
The delivery of learning content in video format.
A type of virtual learning environment for synchronous instruction, web-based or software-based, meaning that the learner and instructor are logged into the virtual learning environment simultaneously.
VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
A system of web-based platforms and special software for organizing learning resources, courses, and users that covers all aspects of the e-learning process, from peer interaction to knowledge assessment.
VIRTUAL REALITY (VR)
A computer-generated 3D environment with which the user can interact via the VR headset and gloves/joysticks. VR technologies can be used in simulations, scenario-based, and game-based learning due to their immersion effect and are becoming more prevalent in online compliance training.
WEB-BASED TRAINING (WBT)
A training delivered via a web-based application or intranet, also referred to as internet-based training, e-learning, online learning, and distance education.
A seminar or workshop conducted over the Internet in real-time.
A product or service developed and issued under license by one company and sold to another company that personalizes and rebrands it to make it appear as if they had made it.
WORLD-WIDE WEB CONSORTIUM (W3C)
An international community that develops open standards for HTML, CSS, web accessibility, and many more, to ensure the long-term growth of the Web.
See Tin Can API or Experience Application Programming Interface.
Extensible Markup Language, a text-based format used to describe structured information: documents, data, configuration, books, transactions, etc. It is human-readable and machine-readable and allows users to define their own tags for data transfer.
ZONE OF PROXIMAL DEVELOPMENT (ZPD)
The difference between what a learner can do with and without the instructor's guidance. The term "proximal" relates to those skills that the student is close to mastering. Scaffolding takes place in the zone of proximal development – as the learner gains more competence, the instructor gradually cuts guidance until they can perform the task themselves.
Published on January 24, 2023