Accessibility A characteristic of technology that enables people with disabilities to use it.
applications that will work in any type of browser.
Analog A fluctuating electronic signal used for storing and transferring data. The
continuous nature of analog signals makes it relatively difficult to store,
API Application Programming Interface. A mechanism for programmers to
make use of the functionality of a set of modules without having access to
the source code.
Applet a small program within a program usually written in JAVA designed to
perform a specific function.
Application A software program that allows a user to perform specific tasks like word
processing, email, accounting, database management.
Architecture The layout or design of a hardware device or software program or the
combination of the two. Open architecture refers to a system that
Artificial Intelligence The range of technologies that allow computer systems to perform complex
functions mirroring the workings of the human mind.
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
Audio Conferencing Voice-only connection between three or more locations.
Authoring tool A software application or program used by trainers and instructional
designers to create e-learning courseware.
Avatar In online environments, a virtual digital image representing a person. In e-
learning avatars usually represent the learners.
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.
Blended Learning Combination of online and in-person learning activities, also known as
Blog A simple webpage consisting of brief paragraphs of opinion, information,
personal diary entries, or links, called posts, arranged chronologically with
the most recent first, in the style of an online journal. Most blogs also allow
visitors to add a comment below a blog entry.
Bookmarking A way for people to record (bookmark) web pages, and mark those records
with significant words (tags) that describe the pages being recorded.
Bots Software applications that run automated tasks over the Internet. Also
known as web robots or WWW robots.
Broadband A transmission channel able to simultaneously carry multiple signals.
Browser Software for interacting with , accessing, and viewing information on the
Internet or created in HTML. Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator are
Chat An online, real-time interactive communication method using text to send
and receive instant messages
Instructional Design for eLearning 1 CSUS College Of Continuing Education
Chat room An on-line facility that allows communication between learners using text.
The messages are sent between learners in real-time as in a conversation
but by typing on the computer rather than by talking.
Chunk A discrete portion of content, often consisting of several learning objects
Cloud Computing Location independent computing, whereby shared servers provide
resources, software, and data to computers and other devices on demand.
Cookie A small text file placed on your hard drive 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, and preferences.
Courseware Educational software that delivers course material and instruction via
Cyberbullying Repeated acts meant to harass, demean, intimidate, insult, defame,
discriminate, or otherwise cause intentional harm to others in the online
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
Digital Divide The gap that exists between those who can afford technology and those
Discussion board An on-line facility where e-learners involved in a learning program can post
text messages for other users to read.
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
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
Domain Name The permanent URL (absolute address) of a web site that is registered,
copyrighted and safe from having anyone else use the same name.
Download A file transfer from one computer to yours.
E-Learning Learning that is accomplished over the Internet, a computer network, via CD-
ROM, interactive TV, or satellite broadcast.
e-Portfolio An electronic collection of documents and other objects that support
indivudal claims for what has been learned or achieved.
EPSS Electronic Performance Support System. A computer application or series
of applications that provides integrated information, tools, and
methodology on demand at the moment of need. An electronic job aid.
Instructional Design for eLearning 2 CSUS College Of Continuing Education
Facilitator An instructor who assists, directs, and stimulates the learning during an
FAQ Frequently Asked Questions. 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
Firewall Specialized hardware the capability of sharing information and other
network, giving users or software designed to secure a computer or network
from unauthorized access.
Folksonomy A collection of tags created by an individual for their own personal use.
FTP File Transfer Protocol. An Internet protocol for transferring files between
two computers. Most browsers incorporate FTP software to download and
GB Gigabyte. A gigabyte is 1000 megabytes, or 1,073,741,824 characters and is
roughly equivalent to a thousand novels.
GIF Graphics Interchange Format is a type of graphic file designed to compress
graphics used on the Internet, allowing them to load quickly.
GUI Graphical User Interface. A computer interface that presents informatio in a
user-friendly ways using pictures and icons.
Home page The opening page or main document that appears when you visit a web site,
usually contains links to other web pages.
Host A computer system on a network that distributes and receives information
from other computers.
Hot spots Areas on e-learning screens that provide dynamic links to other media, such
as audio, video, or graphics files, or that are liked electronically to other
websites or pages on the Internet.
HTML Hypertext Markup Language. Computer code used to structure text and
HTTP Hypertext viewing Protocol. An Internet application protocol used for
images forTransfer with a browser.
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.
Hypertext Highlighted text in a web page that links the user to additional related
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 networks.
Interoperability The ability of hardware or software components to work together
Intranet 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.
Instructional Design for eLearning 3 CSUS College Of Continuing Education
Java An object-oriented programming language. Java isn't dependent on specific
hardware and can be launched from within an HTML document or stand-
Java Script A scripting language that's simpler than Java and can add interactivity to
browser when a user views a Webpage. (For example, making a graphic
change when a user moves the cursor over it.)
JPEG A popular file format for storing bitmap images. JPEG images are widely
used on the World Wide Web because the format allows for easy file
compression with minimal image distortion.
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.
LCMS Learning Content Management System. A software application (or set of
applications) that manages the creation, storage, use, and reuse of learning
content. LCMSs often store content in granular forms such as learning
Learning object A reusable, program-independent chunk of information used as a building
block for e-learning content.
Learning Object A reusable, media-independent collection of information used as a modular
building block for e-learning content. Learning objects are most effective
when organized by a meta data classification system and stored in a data
repository such as an LCMS.
Link Hypertext that is usually underlined to indicate a pointer to additional
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.
LMS A Learning Management System is a software application for the
administration, documentation, tracking, and reporting of training
programs, classroom and online events, e-learning programs, and training
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
Lurking Reading the postings in a discussion forum or on a listserv but not
contributing to the discussion.
Mash-ups Web services that pull together data from different sources to create a new
Metatag An HTML code line that identifies the contents of the web page to search
Instructional Design for eLearning 4 CSUS College Of Continuing Education
Modem A device that converts digital signals to analog for transmission, and analog
signals back to digital upon reception.
Moodle A free open source software content managment system designed to help
create effective online learning communities.
MP3 A format for music file compression that enables users to download music
over the Internet.
MPEG A high-quality video file format that uses compression to keep file sizes
Multicasting An audio, video, email, or application broadcast over the web, from one
computer to many.
Multimedia The combination of text, graphics, audio, colors to create used to present
information in an engaging and dynamic way.
Netiquette Etiquette on the Internet, 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
Newsgroup An information exchange forum where notes about a particular topic are
posted and shared.
Onground A traditional classroom instructional setting.
Online Connected to the Internet or another computer.
Online learning An umbrella term used to describe any education or training that occurs
Open Source Intellectual property, especially computer source code, that is available to
the general public for use and/or modification from its original design free
Page turner A derogatory term for e-learning that offers little to no graphics or
interaction, instead comprising mainly pages of text.
PIMS A personal information manager is an application software that functions as
a personal organizer that can facilitate the recording, tracking, and
management of certain types of personal information.
PKZIP A popular free file compression program
Plug and Play The ability of a personal computer's operating system to recognize and
install--with little to no intervention by the user--new peripheral devices
that are added to the computer. Also spelled plug-n-play or plug 'n' play.
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.
PNG Portable Network Graphicsis a file format similar to GIF that en-codes
images as bitmaps.
Podcast A series of digital-media files which are distributed over the Internet using
syndication feeds for playback on portable media players and computers.
The term podcast, like broadcast, can refer either to the series of content
itself or to the method by which it is syndicated; the latter is also called
Instructional Design for eLearning 5 CSUS College Of Continuing Education
Pop-Up Menu a group of options or selections offered to a user that appears as a result of
pressing a special function key, clicking a button with the mouse. It can also
refer to any number of menu or toolbars either in an application or on a
Portal Web site that is a major starting point or gateway to additional information
on the Internet.
Post Used as a noun for messages "posted" to Bulletin Boards, newsgroups,
Pull Technology In reference to the Internet or other online services, the technology
whereby people use software such as a Web browser to locate and "pull
down" information for themselves.
Push Technology In reference to the Internet or other online services, the technology
whereby information is sent directly to a user's computer.
PZP A type of graphic file used to sotre images to be view and edited using a
variety of graphic design programs
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
RSS A family of formats which allow users to find out about updates to the
content of RSS-enabled websites, blogs or podcasts without actually having
to go and visit the site. (RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site
SCORM An anachronym for Sharable Content Object Reference Model, which is a
set of technical standards for e-learning software products.
Screen Reader Computer software that speaks text on the screen. Often used by
individuals who are visually impaired.
Second Life A 3-D multi-user virtual enviornment.
Section 508 The section of the 1998 Rehabilitation Act that states that all electronic and
information technology procured, used, or developed by the federal
government after June 25, 2001, must be accessible to people with
disabilities. Affected technology includes hardware such as copiers, fax
machines, telephones, and other electronic devices as well as application
software and Websites.
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
Semantic Search Applications that can improve search accuracy by understanding searcher's
intent and the contextual meaning of terms as they appear in the
searchable dataspace, whether on the Web or within a closed system, to
generate more relevant results.
Server A computer with large storage capacity that serves out files, applications,
and other resources.
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Simulations 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.
Social Media Anything where users can participate, create and share content. Examples
are bulletin boards, podcasts, blogs, wikis, as well as Facebook or Flickr.
Social networking Uses software to build online communities of people who share interests
and activities or who are interested in exploring the interests and activities
of others. Most services are primarily web-based and provide a collection of
various ways for users to interact, such as chat, messaging, email, video,
chat, file sharing, blogging, and discussion groups.
Software Computer programming code that provides a computer with instructions to
perform specific tasks; a program or application.
Spam Junk email that is sent, unsolicted and in bulk, to advertise products or
services or publicize a message.
Spime A currently-theoretical object that can be tracked through space and time
throughout the lifetime of the object.
Storyboard An outline of a multimedia project in which each page represents a screen
to be designed and developed.
Streaming A technique where media (audio, video, or both) are downloaded to the
user's computer in a continuous stream and played upon arrival.
Style sheets: In traditional print publishing and on the Web, style sheets specify how a
document should appear, standardizing such elements as fonts, page layout
and line spacing, repeated content, and so forth. Web style sheets help
ensure consistency across Webpages, but HTML coding can also override
the sheets in designated sections of the pages.
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
System A set of interrelated parts, all of which work together toward a defined goal
Teleconferencing Video or audio conferences conducted over telecommunications channels
such as telephone lines, local area networks, and the Internet
Upload A file transfer from your computer to another.
URL Stands for Uniform Resource Locator, the absolute address of a web page.
URL Uniform Resource Locator. The address used to identify a page or file on
Usability The measure of how effectively, efficiently, and easily a person can navigate
an interface, find information on it, and achieve his or her goals.
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User interface The components of a computer system that the operator uses to interact
with the computer - the screen display, keyboard, mouse, touch controls,
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 Acommunity on the Internet where people share common interests; an
Virtual Hosting A means by which a web site is hosted by another site. A virtually hosted
web site has an address that includes the host's address as part of its URL.
WBT Web-Based Training. Education or training delivered over the Internet and
accessible using a browser. May incorporate the use of an instructor or
Web 1.0 Pages grouped into websites that displayed "static" or "flat" data. Anyone
could put up a site but you needed technical skills and pages were hard to
change. Search helped you find the sites.
Web 2.0 The use of Internet technology and web design to enhance information
sharing and, most notably, collaboration among users. These concepts have
led to the development and evolution of web-based communities and
hosted services, such as social-networking sites, wikis, blogs.
Web conference A meeting of participants from disparate geographic locations that's held in
a virtual environment on the World Wide Web, with communication taking
place via text, audio, video, or a combination of those methods.
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.
Webcast A broadcast of video signals that's digitized and streamed on the World
Wide Web, and which may also be made available for download.
Webinar A small synchronous online learning event in which a presenter and
audience members communicate via text chat or audio about concepts
often illustrated via online slides and/or an electronic whiteboard. Webinars
are often archived as well for asynchronous, on-demand access.
Wiki A collaborative, Web-based site for sharing text and other resources that
can be easily edited by anyone who is allowed access to it.
Wizard A mini-application that prompts a user through the steps of a particular
computer-based action. The user provides necessary information as he or
she proceeds through the wizard's screens, while the wizard completes the
actual steps behind the scenes.
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."
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WYSIWYG Computer text and graphics that will print exactly as they appear on the
screen or, What You See Is What You Get.
Zip file A file that has been reduced in size to allow faster transferring between
computers, or to save storage space.
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