Online Learning Glossary
From Agile to xAPI and everything in between, there are a lot of eLearning terms to get your head around. Terminology can feel like buzzwords and jargon to the amateur but many are essential knowledge for the eLearning professional. Here at LearnUpon, we’re all about helping businesses better understand eLearning so they can get better results from their training. That’s why we’ve compiled this eLearning glossary. It’s jam-packed full of helpful terms, bookmark it so that you are always in the know.
When it comes to eLearning, accessibility for all learners is crucial. Accessibility means course content can be used by people with varying abilities and disabilities. eLearning content developers and instructional designers should aim to make courses clear, easy to understand, and simple to complete. Learners who suffer from sensory, intellectual or technological difficulties will need assistive technology to successfully access and complete their training courses.
Active learning is a strategy focused on encouraging learners to actively participate in training. This approach prompts learners to read, discuss, and solve problems in order to synthesize course content. Examples of active learning activities include practical tasks and problem-solving conducted in small groups.
ADDIE (Analysis Design Development Implementation)
The ADDIE model is an acronym: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation. It’s a five-phase framework that instructional designers use; a guideline for building effective training and learning support tools. In today’s fast-paced learning environments, the AGILE method is often seen as more efficient than ADDIE.
ADL (Advanced Distributed Learning)
Advanced Distributed Learning is an initiative established by the US Department of Defense, aiming to make the delivery of online training consistent across content formats, technologies, and organizations. Notable contributions include SCORM and xAPI.
Often contrasted with the ADDIE process, the Agile design method emerged in the 1970s and became widely adopted in the 1990s. Unlike ADDIE, the agile method dives straight into a project, producing small pieces of content very quickly. Then the results are then refined over multiple quick iterations.
The first official eLearning content standard, AICC was developed by the Aviation Industry CBT Committee in 1993 as a CD-ROM based standard. Online web support was added to the specification in 1998. A predecessor to SCORM, AICC was difficult to work with and many steps were required to get content in the format running in a learning management system (LMS).
API (Application Programming Interface)
API provides an interface that allows developers to interact with programs and applications, including learning management systems. An API includes a set of credentials known as keys that are used by admins and developers. Similar to a username and password pair, the key allows developers to access the API and interact with data in an LMS. Integrating with a vendor’s API can speed up the eLearning processes by automating time-consuming manual tasks like updating, deleting, or exporting lists of users. In practical terms, an API allows you to push or pull data from one system to another.
ARCS (Attention Relevance Confidence Satisfaction)
Keller’s ARCS model of motivation stands for Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction. It’s a problem-solving approach to learning used by instructional designers with a focus on engaging content.
Assessments often take the form of a test included at the end of a course to evaluate learner performance. They should be aligned with the learning objectives of a course to accurately measure learner progress.
Incorporating new ideas, concepts, or experiences into an existing mental schema is commonly known as assimilation. It also describes the association of new information with pre-existing knowledge. Many factors can influence the rate of assimilation, including distractions, a learner’s traits, and motivation levels.
Asynchronous learning allows learners to train individually, enabling them to complete courses at a time, place and pace that suits them.
Often paired with an LMS, this software is used to develop content for online learning and training programs. An eLearning content authoring tool is a software package which content developers use to create and package eLearning course content using SCORM or xAPI standards. There are many popular authoring tools to choose from, including Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline, Elucidat, and iSpring Pro.
Blended learning is the combination of traditional, face-to-face learning methods with technology-based online learning methods. It’s also be described as a blending of live training and self-paced training. It offers a great way to augment the learner’s experience.
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)
Bring Your Own Device is a policy whereby employees or members bring and use their own mobile, tablet or laptop device in a training or work setting. Most LMSs, like LearnUpon, are designed to be responsive and functional on any type of device, making it easy for learners and admins can access their training.
This adaptive learning technique that gives learners control over outcomes. Learners are prompted to choose from multiple solutions to given scenarios. And different outcomes are presented for each challenge encountered along the way.
CBT (Computer-Based Training)
The traditional name for what is now known as eLearning Computer-Based Training specifically describes the on-demand elements of eLearning, excluding instructor-led training.
CDN (Content Delivery Network)
CDN is a global network of proxy servers deployed in multiple data centers to enable the high availability and high performance of content being viewed by the learner.
A certificate confirms that a learner has successfully completed a training program to a predefined standard. Many professional bodies require registered members to be recertified at regular intervals.
CEU (Continual Education Unit)
A CEU is a measurement used in continuing education programs. Usually, the completion of a certain number of units allows individuals to remain licensed in their profession.
A small unit of a larger piece of learning content is referred to as a chunk. It’s designed to make assimilation more manageable for learners. Chunking content also helps to combat learner fatigue.
Also known as face-to-face or live training, classroom-based training is a more traditional training method. An instructor guides learners through a course in a real-world environment such as a classroom or meeting room.
CLO (Chief Learning Officer)
The CLO is an executive-level employee in an organization who defines and leads the company’s learning and development strategy. This role is usually found in large organizations and multinationals.
A cloud-based LMS is a web-based platform that helps companies to deliver, track, and report on eLearning. The main difference between a cloud LMS and other solutions is that learning content, tracking and reporting data is stored in the cloud. One benefit of a cloud LMS is that it’s quicker and more cost-effective to install than self-hosted learning solutions. Cloud learning management systems also tend to require less in-house technical expertise to maintain and run.
CMI5 (Computer Managed Instruction)
This is a “profile” for using the xAPI specification with learning management systems. It’s essentially a set of rules for xAPI which narrows the overly wide specification to increase adoption in the industry.
CMS (Content Management System)
A CMS is a system that supports the creation and management of digital content, usually for publishing. A CMS is more passive than an LMS. Users can view documents but the CMS cannot track and report on their progress as an LMS does.
COD (Content on Demand)
Providing content on demand enables users to decide when and where they access the available content. In terms of eLearning, it means that a learner can take their courses when it suits their schedule.
A theory developed by John Sweller that describes the strain working memory experiences when information is being processed.
Compliance training is employee training mandated by legislation, regulation or policy. It educates your employees on the laws or regulations applicable to their job function or industry. These training initiatives are usually mandatory, with regular completion of the training required in order to achieve and maintain compliance.
In LearnUpon, a content library is a repository of reusable content, like videos, documents, question pools, SCORM and xAPI (Tin Can) files, from which a course can be created.
Corporate training is the strategy of providing learners, internal and external to your organization, with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful. By furthering their success, you are, in turn, facilitating the success of your business.
Functionality in a learning management system that is used to upload and create courses. Course builders allow you to combine elements such as text, image, video etc., to make your courses more engaging.
A collection of courses made available to learners so they can self-select the training they want to complete.
CPD (Continuing Professional Development)
CPD programs aim to help professionals stay up-to-date with developments in their field after tertiary or postgraduate training has ended. Also known as Continuing Professional Education (CPE), professionals use CPD to maintain knowledge and skills throughout their working lives. CPD obligations are common across professions and include formal, informal, structured and self-directed learning approaches.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
A customer relationship management system manages all your company’s relationships and interactions with your current and future customers. It helps you improve your profitability and retain customers. Integrating your CRM with your LMS will enable you to pursue an extended enterprise learning program.
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)
CSS is a markup language that defines the design of an HTML web-page. In very basic terms, HTML structures a page, while CSS controls how it looks.
This is a branch of eLearning that involves training customers on how to use an organization’s product and/or service. This form of training is particularly popular with software providers as it improves customer onboarding, increases retention and maximizes your support resources.
Customer User Data
Describes the custom data fields added when an LMS is configured. Examples include “Location”, “Job Role” or “Department”. The use of custom fields allows you to deal with groups of learners as a unit and to assign all learners in that group to a specific course or learning path. Custom fields can also be used as filters to generate detailed reporting information.
EE (Extended Enterprise)
In eLearning, this relates to the training of your partners and customers to improve product adoption, increase customer retention, and maximize support resources. An example of this is reducing the number of support tickets you receive from your customers by providing them with product training via your LMS.
eLearning (Electronic Learning)
eLearning, or electronic learning, is the delivery of learning and training through digital resources. Although eLearning is based on formalized learning, it’s provided through electronic devices such as computers, tablets and even cellular phones that are connected to the internet. This makes it easy for users to learn anytime, anywhere, with few, if any, restrictions.