Online Learning - Glossary
A type of communication that occurs with a time delay between steps in the dialog, allowing participants to respond at their own convenience. Literally "not synchronous;" in other words, not at the same time.
Technologies that support access to information at any time and place convenient to the learner. Includes Internet technologies as e-mail, multimedia databases, virtual libraries.
In the context of a web-delivered technology, this term generally refers to voice conferencing over the internet. The equivalent of a telephone conference using dial-up Internet services, generally through software installed in a web browser.
High-level computer programs designed for creating computer-based training, interactive presentations, and multimedia.
How much information you can send through a connection. Usually measured in bits-per-second. A full page of English text is about 16,000 bits. A fast modem can move about 15,000 bits in one second. Full-motion full-screen video would require roughly 10,000,000 bits-per-second, depending on compression.
(Bulletin Board System) A computerized meeting and announcement system that allows people to carry on discussions, upload and download files, and make announcements without the people being connected to the computer at the same time. There are many thousands (millions?) of BBS's around the world, most are very small, running on a single IBM clone PC with 1 or 2 phone lines. Some are very large and the line between a BBS and a system like CompuServe gets crossed at some point, but it is not clearly drawn.
(Bits-Per-Second) A measurement of how fast data is moved from one place to another. A 28.8 modem can move 28,800 bits per second.
Denotes that the host software allows use of most product features through Java-enabled browser such as Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator/Communicator. There is often implied an assumption that some additional software (generally referred to as a "java applet" or a "plugin") has been added to the browser to increase selected functionality.
Moving from site to site, also known as "surfing."
(Common Gateway Interface) A set of rules that describe how a Web Server communicates with another piece of software on the same machine, and how the other piece of software (the "CGI program") talks to the web server. Any piece of software can be a CGI program if it handles input and output according to the CGI standard.
Usually a CGI program is a small program that takes data from a web server and does something with it, like putting the content of a form into an e-mail message, or turning the data into a database query.
Generally refers to real-time, text-based conversation between two or more individuals connected online. As you type, everything you type is displayed to the other members of the chat group.
(Computer-assisted training) Any instruction where a computer is used as a learning tool.
(Computer-based training) An interactive instructional approach in which the computer, taking the place of an instructor, provides a series of stimuli to the student ranging from questions to be answered to choices or decisions to be made. The CBT then provides feedback based on the student's response.
Cyber, online, or Web courses
Courses that meet the criteria of being available anytime and anywhere via the Internet and are self-paced.
Term originated by author William Gibson in his novel Neuromancer, the word Cyberspace is currently used to describe the whole range of information resources available through computer networks.
Desktop Video Conferencing
Real-time conferencing, using live pictures, among two or more people who communicate via computer.
See Distance Learning. This term is often used synonymously with distance learning. However, "distance education" seems to be preferred in undergraduate and graduate academic settings.
A system and a process that connects learners and instructors who are in different locations. Distance learning has historically involved correspondence courses, video, or satellite broadcasts. With the connectivity of the Internet and a new generation of software applications, distance learning has evolved into a new model, which provides higher quality and more flexibility and which is more appropriately called "distributed learning."
To transfer a file from another computer to your computer by means of a modem and a telephone line. The most common way of downloading is using a FTP program, although most web browsers allow you to download using hyperlinks.
A term referring broadly to technology-based learning. Seems to focus on web-based delivery methods but often used in a broader context. Used initially by corporate universities, now being embraced by academia.
(Electronic Mail) Messages, usually text, sent from one person to another via computer. E-mail can also be sent automatically to a large number of addresses (Mailing List).
Freeware is programming that is offered at no cost. However, it is copyrighted so that you can't incorporate its programming into anything you may be developing.
(File Transfer Protocol) A very common method of moving files between two Internet sites. FTP is a special way to login to another Internet site for the purposes of retrieving and/or sending files. There are many Internet sites that have established publicly accessible repositories of material that can be obtained using FTP, by logging in using the account name anonymous, thus these sites are called anonymous FTP servers.
(Graphic Interchange Format) A common format for image files, especially suitable for images containing large areas of the same color. GIF format files of simple images are often smaller than the same file would be if stored in JPEG format, but GIF format does not store photographic images as well as JPEG.
First page of a site, a one page site, or a company/personal page within a multi paged site.
(HyperText Markup Language) The coding language used to create Hypertext documents for use on the World Wide Web. HTML looks a lot like old-fashioned typesetting code, where you surround a block of text with codes that indicate how it should appear, additionally, in HTML you can specify that a block of text, or a word, is linked to another file on the Internet. HTML files are meant to be viewed using a browser, such as Netscape or Internet Explorer.
(HyperText Transfer Protocol) The protocol for moving hypertext files across the Internet. Requires a HTTP client program on one end, and an HTTP server program on the other end. HTTP is the most important protocol used in the World Wide Web (WWW).
Generally, any text that contains links to other documents - words or phrases in the document that can be chosen by a reader and which cause another document to be retrieved and displayed.
Both computer-based and multimedia training.
The Internet is a cooperative public network of shared information. Physically, the Internet uses a subset of the total resources of all the currently existing public telecommunication networks. Technically, what distinguishes the Internet as a cooperative public network is its use of a set of protocols called TCP/IP (Transport Control Protocol/Internet Protocol). The Internet is composed of the World Wide Web, E-mail, Bulletin Board Systems (BBS), Internet Relay Chat (IRC), File Transfer Protocol (FTP), and numerous other systems that are linked together.
(Internet-based training) Training that can be accessed over the Internet.
Microsoft Internet Explorer (MSIE or IE) is the graphical World Wide Web browser or user interface that is provided with the Microsoft Windows operating system.
A private network inside a company or organization that uses the same kinds of software that you would find on the public Internet, but that is only for internal use.
(Intranet-based training) Training that is accessed via a company's internal network, viewed with Web browsers, and used to access company pages.
(Internet Service Provider) An institution that provides access to the Internet in some form, usually for money.
A programming language developed by Sun Microsystems that creates code for interactive applications that is executable on web pages by web browsers. These Java applications can execute on any platform: Macintosh, PC, and so on.
(Joint Photographic Experts Group) JPEG is most commonly mentioned as a format for image files. JPEG format is preferred to the GIF format for photographic images as opposed to line art or simple logo art.
(Local Area Network) A computer network limited to the immediate area, usually the same building or floor of a building.
A list server is a program that handles subscription requests for a mailing list and distributes new messages from the list's members to the entire list of subscribers as they occur.
Noun or a verb.
Noun: The account name used to gain access to a computer system. Not a secret (contrast with Password).
Verb: The act of entering into a computer system, e.g. Login to the WELL and then go to the GBN conference.
A system (usually automated) that allows people to send e-mail to one address, whereupon their message is copied and sent to all of the other subscribers on the mail list. In this way, people who have many different kinds of e-mail access can participate in discussions together.
A million bytes. Actually, technically, 1024 kilobytes.
Tags placed at the top of the page giving title, keywords and short description of content in html, to be read by Search Engine spiders or robots, makes pages easier to search.
A device that you connect to your computer and to a phone line, that allows the computer to talk to other computers through the phone system. Basically, modems do for computers what a telephone does for humans.
A very general term that usually refers to computer programs that use a combination of sound, video, animation, pictures, and/or text.
Net-based or Online Training
Any training done with a computer over a network, including a company's intranet, a company's local area network, and the Internet.
The etiquette on the Internet.
Netscape Navigator is a widely-used World Wide Web browser or user interface.
Any time you connect two or more computers together so that they can share resources, you have a computer network. Connect two or more networks together and you have an internet.
The ability to enroll in a course or program of study at any time. Contrasted with the typical term-based enrollment and lock-step cohort programs of traditional schools, "open enrollment" is frequently requested by adult learners.
A code used to gain access to a locked system. Good passwords contain letters and non-letters and are not simple combinations such as virtue7. A good password might be: Dog $1-6
Of, relating to, or befitting a teacher or education, especially with regard to a process of learning.
Software that is installed into a Web browser's software to extend that browser's capabilities to handle animation, audio, video, and other specialized files.
Post Office Protocol refers to the way e-mail software such as Eudora gets mail from a mail server. When you obtain an e-mail account, you almost always get a POP account with it, and it is this POP account that you tell your e-mail software to use to get your mail.
The processing of information that returns a result so rapidly that the interaction appears to be instantaneous. Telephone calls and videoconferencing are examples of real-time applications. These kinds of real-time information not only need to be processed almost instantaneously, but it needs to arrive in the exact order it's sent. A delay between parts of a word, or the transmission of video frames out of sequence, makes the communication unintelligible. See also Synchronous.
Education in which the learner is on their own, studying without interaction with others. Sometimes used to refer to asynchronous modes of delivery. CBT has been the most common form of self-paced learning, but web-based asynchronous systems are catching up quickly.
A computer or software package that provides a specific kind of service to client software running on other computers. The term can refer to a particular piece of software, such as a WWW server, or to the machine on which that software is running--(such comes the expression "Our mail server is down today so I can't check my
An inappropriate attempt to use a mailing list or other networked communications facility as if it was a broadcast medium (which it is not) by sending the same e-mail message to a large number of people who didn't ask for it.
Moving from site to site, also known as "browsing."
Activities that occur when the participants are online at the same time. Synchronous activities can be used in both synchronous and asynchronous learning environments, but should be optional for asynchronous learning environments.
Technologies such as desktop or interactive group video conferencing that enable live, real-time interaction between instructors and learners.
(Universal Resource Locator) The standard way to give the address of any resource on the Internet that is part of the World Wide Web. A URL looks like this: http://www.swtc.edu
An asynchronous environment created on the World Wide Web in which students and instructors can perform learning related tasks.
The process of learning over the Internet without having face-to-face contact.
(Voice-over-IP) Uses the internet to allow phone-like voice interaction over dial-up internet connections. Typically implemented as a browser add-in or external piece of software. Some systems are full-duplex, other voice-over-ip systems use "push-to-talk" half-duplex systems.
In the context of web-delivered learning, refers to "Talking" head, small size video over IP networks. Generally requires additional hardware for implementation. Generally implemented as an optional feature, due to its significant bandwidth requirements.
(Wide Area Network) Any internet or network that covers an area larger than a single building or campus.
An environment created on the World Wide Web in which students and instructors can perform learning-related tasks.
(Web-based instruction) Instructional strategies implemented within a constructivist and collaborative learning environment on the World Wide Web.
(Web-based Training) A form of computer-based training in which the training material resides on pages accessible through the World Wide Web.
Whiteboarding or Shared Whiteboard
A term used to describe the placement of shared documents or material on an on-screen "shared notebook" or "whiteboard."
Allows subsetting of learners into on-line workgroups. Implementations vary from simply email group lists to virtual voide enabled on-line collaborative workgroups.
(World Wide Web) Frequently used when referring to "The Internet", WWW has two major meanings - First, loosely used: the whole constellation of resources that can be accessed using Gopher, FTP, HTTP, telnet, USENET, WAIS and some other tools. Second, the universe of hypertext servers (HTTP servers) which are the servers that allow text, graphics, sound files, etc. to be mixed together.