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Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Photo of open dictionary
Active Learning
Active learning is learning in which students are actively engaged in the learning process rather than simply receiving content passively. In online instruction active learning includes such techniques as discussion board activities, online meetings, storyboards, group projects, ePortfolios, and other synchronous and asynchronous.
Google list of Web definitions
Asynchronous
In online learning asynchronous refers to activities in which people do not have to participate at the same time, such as discussion boards, blogs, or wikis. (See also synchronous.)

B

Best Practices
In distance education, best practices refer to using effective online course design and teaching methods
WCET Best Practices
American Distance Education Consortium Guiding Principles for Distance Learning
WebNet Journal: Distance Learning Best Practices Debate (PDF document)
Synthesis of Sloan Consortium Effective Practices
Blackboard
Blackboard® is the Learning Management System (LMS) used by Boise State
Blackboard login
Blackboard overview
Blackboard’s tutorial on course management
Blackboard’s tutorial on content authoring
Blended Courses
(see Hybrid Courses)
Blog
Blog is a term shortened from Web Log. It is a much like a journal, in which the blogger records opinions, logs daily events, shares information, and so forth. Blogging is one way for online learners to comment on course content and respond to other students’ comments.
Wikipedia article
Blog Sites

C

Chat
A method of online communication in which multiple participants can meet in a virtual chat room and communicate by text messaging synchronously
Course Management System
(see Learning Management System)
Creative Commons
According to the Creative Commons website, “Creative Commons licenses provide a flexible range of protections and freedoms for authors, artists, and educators, . . . built upon the ‘all rights reserved’ concept of traditional copyright to offer a voluntary ‘some rights reserved’ approach.”
Wikipedia article
Creative Commons website

D

Discussion Board
Discussion boards (Intenet forums) are tool for increasing active online learning by engaging students in asynchronous discussions. By using Blackboard’s group tools, discussion boards can also be used for group projects. Other creative uses for disucssion boards are
Wikipedia article: Internet Forum
Domain Name
Domain names are the alphabetical representations used to represent numerical Internet addresses of websites. They often begin with www, and they end with with a top level domain such as .com, .org, .net, .gov or .edu.
Wikipedia article

E

ePortfolio (Electronic Portfolios)
In online learning, digital portfolios allow students to display in-depth products of their learning, including essays, book reports, journals, and rich media. Online instructors sometimes use ePortfolios as an assessment tool.
Wikipedia article

F

Favicon
A favicon is a small graphical image saved in an iconic format with the extension .ico that is loaded into the root directory of a website and, in supported browsers, appears in the URL address bar to the left of the URI.
Wikipedia article
Forum
(see Discussion Board)
Free Software
Free software is often used to apply to any software available for download without cost. However, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) distinguishes its movement from the Open Source movement in terms of philosophy.
Free software definition from FSF

G

Good Practices
(see Best Practices)

H

Hybrid Courses
Hybrid courses combine distance learning, usually in the form of online learning, with traditional on-ground, face-to-face instruction. While the online proporation of the course may vary, hybrid courses are usually at least 30% online.
Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)
The system used to tag material for display on Web pages. Text and other Web items are enclosed with a beginning tag having the format <tag> and an end tag with the format </tag>.

I

Instructional Design (ID)
Instructional Design Models Website by Martin Ryder, University of Colorado at Denver School of Education
Instructional Design References, Cornell University Academic Technology Center
Instructional Design Taxonomy Table, Oregon State University
Wikipedia article
Internet
Wikipedia article

J

Java
Java is a cross-platform programming language developed by Sun Microsystems and used extensively in the Open Source community. Java applets are occasionally invoked from Web pages to run within browsers.
Wikipedia article on Java
Wikipedia article on Applets
JavaScript
JavaScript is a progamming lanuguage essentially unrelated to the Java programming language except for common historical roots. It is used extensively within Web pages to create popup menus, image map special effects, popup windows, and so forth.
Wikipedia article

K

L

Learning Management System (LMS)
Learning management systems are integrated software packages for delivering courses online. They include tools for posting content and communicating asynchronously. Many include assessment and grading tools; synchronous communication tools such as chat, messaging,or whiteboards, and capabilities for creating groups. Boise State uses Blackboard® as its LMS.
Lurker
Wikipedia article

M

Multimedia
In onnline learning multimedia usually includes audio or visual enhancements, such as movie clips, sound clips, or slideshows. A more descriptive term in technologically enhanced presentations is rich media.
Wikipedia article

N

O

Open Source
Open Source refers to coding that is open to the public. Coding of Open Source software is generally a collaboration. Since the code can be viewed by other programmers, bug fixes and new features are likely to be more frequent. On the other hand, the voluntary nature of much work on Open Source projects makes competition with commercial products difficult. Open Source software can be protected under various licenses, such as the GNU General Public License (GPL). One requirement of these licenses is that those who build software using existing Open Source code must make the resulting code open to the public as well. A parallel movement that promotes software availability at no cost is the Free Software Foundation.
Wikipedia article about Open Source Software
Open Source Initiative
Discussion of Open Source by the Free Software Foundation
Free Open Source Course by Moodle (create a free membership to access)

P

Q

Quality Matters
The Quality Matters is a peer review process for assessing the quality of online courses based on course site indicators. The project was originally created by MarylandOnline with a grant the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE). It is now transitioning into a self-supporting program.
Quality Matters website
Quality Matters Rubric Demo
2004 Quality Matters Rubric (PDF format)

R

Rich Media
Wikipedia article

S

Storyboard
In online learning students use virtual storyboards to present projects with digital photos and sometimes other electronic media
See Wikipedia Article, especially Usage and Benefits
Synchronous
In online learning, synchronous describes activities that participants engage in simultaneously, such as online chats or meetings.

T U V

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
The compression and decompression technology that allows telephone-like communication over the Internet
Wikipedia article

W

WebCT
A popular Learning Management System (LMS) that merged with Blackboard in 2006.
Blackboard–WebCT merger announcement
Website
Wikipedia article
WebQuest
An online learning technique in which students research topics on the Web
Wikipedia article
Wiki
An online way of collaboratively building knowledge. Wikis are powered by wiki open source software. The term wiki is based on the Hawaiian term wiki wiki, which means fast. Wikis can be used in online instruction as an active learning technique in which students collaborate to build and synthesize knowledge on content relevant to the course, either adding to an existing wiki or beginning a new one.
EDUCAUSE: 7 things you should know about Wikis: Website; PDF document
Wikipedia article
Wikia website: A collection of communities with websites readers can edit
Scratchpad Wiki Labs, where anyone can create a mini wiki
Wikipedia
Wikipedia article
World Wide Web
Wikipedia article

X Y Z


 

Note: We have provided links to Wikipedia articles for many of the terms above. Though Wikipedia is not considered to be a scholarly source for academic subjects, in the realm of Internet technology and the World Wide Web, it is a better source of information than traditional encyclopedias.