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ELearning Terms and ELearning Acronyms (part 2)

Anyone who has something to say about elearning may find the below ( L thru Z ) collection of elearning terms and definitions helpful. (compiled by Eva Kaplan-Leiserson on behalf of ASTD (American Society for Training and Development)) 

Click here to view the ( A thru K ) definitions.

LAN (local-area network): A group of personal computers and/or other devices, such as printers or servers, that are located in a relatively limited area, such as an office, and can communicate and share information with each other.

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 objects.

Learning: A cognitive and/or physical process in which a person assimilates information and temporarily or permanently acquires or improves skills, knowledge, behaviors, and/or attitudes.

Learning environment: The physical or virtual setting in which learning takes place.

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.

Learning objective: A statement establishing a measurable behavioral outcome, used as an advanced organizer to indicate how the learner’s acquisition of skills and knowledge is being measured.

Learning platforms: Internal or external sites often organized around tightly focused topics, which contain technologies (ranging from chat rooms to groupware) that enable users to submit and retrieve information.

Learning solution: 1) Any combination of technology and methodology that delivers learning. 2) Software and/or hardware products that suppliers tout as answers to businesses’ training needs.

LMS (learning management system): Software that automates the administration of training. The LMS registers users, tracks courses in a catalog, records data from learners; and provides reports to management. An LMS is typically designed to handle courses by multiple publishers and providers. It usually doesn’t include its own authoring capabilities; instead, it focuses on managing courses created by a variety of other sources.

M-learning (mobile learning): Learning that takes place via such wireless devices as cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), or laptop computers. Multimedia: Encompasses interactive text, images, sound, and color. Multimedia can be anything from a simple PowerPoint slide slow to a complex interactive simulation.

Online: The state in which a computer is connected to another computer or server via a network. A computer communicating with another computer.

Online learning: Learning delivered by Web-based or Internet-based technologies.

Online training: Web- or Internet-based training.

Scalability: The degree to which a computer application or component can be expanded in size, volume, or number of users served and continue to function properly.

SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model): A set of specifications that, when applied to course content, produces small, reusable learning objects. A result of the Department of Defense’s Advance Distributed Learning (ADL) initiative, SCORM-compliant courseware elements can be easily merged with other compliant elements to produce a highly modular repository of training materials.

Soft skills: Business skills such as communication and presentation, leadership and management, human resources, sales and marketing, professional development, project and time management, customer service, team building, administration, accounting and finance, purchasing, and personal development.

Synchronous learning: A real-time, instructor-led online learning event in which all participants are logged on at the same time and communicate directly with each other. In this virtual classroom setting, the instructor maintains control of the class, with the ability to “call on” participants. In most platforms, students and teachers can use a whiteboard to see work in progress and share knowledge. Interaction may also occur via audio- or videoconferencing, Internet telephony, or two-way live broadcasts.

TBT (technology-based training): The delivery of content via Internet, LAN or WAN (intranet or extranet), satellite broadcast, audio- or videotape, interactive TV, or CD-ROM. TBT encompasses both CBT and WBT.

Teaching: A process that aims to increase or improve knowledge, skills, attitudes, and/or behaviors in a person to accomplish a variety of goals. Teaching is often driven more toward the long-term personal growth of the learner and less toward business drivers such as job tasks that are often the focus of training. Some people characterize teaching as focused on theory and training as focused on practical application.

Training: A process that aims to improve knowledge, skills, attitudes, and/or behaviors in a person to accomplish a specific job task or goal. Training is often focused on business needs and driven by time-critical business skills and knowledge, and its goal is often to improve performance.

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

WBT (Web-based training): Delivery of educational content via a Web browser over the public Internet, a private intranet, or an extranet. Web-based training often provides links to other learning resources such as references, email, bulletin boards, and discussion groups. WBT also may include a facilitator who can provide course guidelines, manage discussion boards, deliver lectures, and so forth. When used with a facilitator, WBT offers some advantages of instructor-led training while also retaining the advantages of computer-based training.

Webinar: (Web + seminar) 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.

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