Education Glossary

Accreditation: The act of accrediting or the state of being accredited, especially the granting of approval to an institution of learning by an official review board after the school has met specific requirements.

Asynchronous Learning: Allows students to participate on their own time. Typically, students do not speak verbally with the instructor. Usually takes place via written correspondence in the form of a message board, discussion forum, mail or email.

Blended Learning: Learning that combines online and face-to-face instruction.

Blog (Weblog): A website where regular journal-like entries are posted for public viewing. Entries on blogs reflect the creator's thoughts and comments. Blogs usually contain links to other websites.

Cable modem: A modem that uses cable television's coaxial cables to transmit data at faster speeds than modems using telephone lines.

Chat: Real-time text-based communication in a virtual environment. Chat can be used in e-learning for student questions, instructor feedback, or even group discussion.

Chat room: A virtual meeting space on the Internet, an intranet, or other network, used for real-time text discussions. Unlike one-to-one instant messenger applications, chat rooms enable conversations among multiple people at once.

Content: Information captured digitally and imparted to learners. Formats for e-learning content include text, audio, video, animation, simulation, and more.

Dial up: To open a connection between a user's computer and another computer via a modem.

Distance Education: The process of providing instruction when students and instructors are separated by physical distance and technology, often along with face-to-face communication, is used to bridge the gap.

Download:(noun) A file that is transferred or copied to a user's computer from another connected individual computer, a computer network, a commercial online service, or the Internet.

Download:(verb) To transfer or copy a file to a user's computer from another connected individual computer, a computer network, a commercial online service, or the Internet.

DSL (digital subscriber line): A broadband Internet access method that sends data over standard phone lines at speeds up to 7 Mbps. DSL is available to subscribers who live within a certain distance of the necessary router.

Instant Messenger (IM): Software that lists users' selected "buddies" (friends, family, co-workers, and so forth) who are online and enables users to send short text messages back and forth to them. Some instant messenger programs also include voice chat, file transfer, and other applications.

Interactive Media: The integration of data in electronic text, graphics, moving images and sound in a computerized environment that allows people to interact with that data.

Listserv: An e-mail program that allows multiple computer users to connect onto a single system, creating an online discussion.

Log in/Log on: To establish a connection over a network or modem with a remote computer to retrieve or exchange information.

Log off: To terminate a connection to a computer or network.

Message Board: (also may be referred to as discussion forum or threaded discussion): The Message Board content item simulates traditional classroom discussions. A threaded discussion (thread) allows students to post comments to a discussion topic, react to other students' comments, and respond to ideas shared by the students.

Multimedia: Any document which uses multiple forms of communication, such as text, audio, and/or video.

Online community: A meeting place on the Internet for people who share common interests and needs. Online communities can be open to all or by membership only and may or may not be moderated.

PDF (portable document format): File format developed by Adobe Systems to enable users of any hardware or software platform to view documents exactly as they were created--with fonts, images, links, and layouts as they were originally designed.

Post: To place a message in a public message forum. Also, to place an HTML page on the World Wide Web.

Synchronous Learning: When interaction with instructors is happening in real-time. In a campus-based school, this would be to attend the physical classroom. In an online environment, this requires that students log into their classes at a specified time. Typically takes a form analogous to that of a "chat room", "live discussion", or seminar time.

Tutorial: Step-by-step instructions presented through computer or Web-based technology, designed to teach a user how to complete a particular action.

Upload: To send a file from one computer or server to another.

Video Teleconferencing: A teleconference including two-way video.

Virtual Classroom: The online learning space where students and instructors interact.