Educational Technology Glossary

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This glossary compiled/created by M. Shaw


Acceptable Use Agreement/Policy (AUA or AUP)
A set of rules that govern the responsible behaviour and use of technology provided by a School Board or District, including the legal implications surrounding the use of the Internet.

adaptive devices
Devices that help people with visual impairments, hearing losses, severe speech impairments, physical disabilities and/or severe learning disabilities cope with demands that are placed upon them from their environment. An important consideration when designing computer based training (CBT) might include the use of computer-based hardware or software adaptive devices.

An acronym for an instructional systems design model whose components include: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation

Adobe Acrobat
Acrobat Reader is a free software product from Adobe, designed to view .pdf (portable document format) documents downloaded from the World Wide Web.

Adobe Photoshop
High-end graphics software from Adobe that is used to create and edit digital images. You can use Photoshop to create, edit, manipulate and save graphic images in various file formats for use in Web pages, PowerPoint presentations, and word processing documents. Digital or scanned photos can easily be retouched, maniupulated, and/or incorporated with other graphic elements.

Adjunct (e-learning delivery)
Using online technology part-time to enhance face-to-face instruction can be considered adjunct or supplemental. Examples include: using the computer to construct models in various subject areas; using the Internet to access resources; various tasks assigned to students online, such as those developed with the ‘WebQuest’ (2002) template; participation in online activities to produce collaborative or cooperative work in or out of the classroom; establishing remote learning communities, and associations and relationships with a variety of external parties.

Affective Domain 
A learning domain that refers to an idividual's appreciation, attitudes, interest, values, and/or psychological adjustment to a specific subject, topic or situation. Learning objectives and test items should allow individuals to illustrate these factors.

ADC (Analog to Digital Converter)
A sound card (hardware) or software component that converts electrical signals from a microphone or amplifier into digital information. See expanded definition.

AICC (Aviation Industry CBT Committee)
The term "AICC Compliant" means that a training product complies with one or more of the 9 AICC Guidelines & Recommendations (AGR's).

analysis phase
The first instructional design phase. The purpose of this phase is to determine what skills and/or knowledge the learner needs to do or know by identifying the probable causes for the absence of performance and then recommending a solution.

Also known as target in Netscape Composer, is the destination of a hyperlink within a Web page. Anchors  are common on single Web pages containing lots of text where the text section  titles appear at the top of the page and clicking the link causes the browser to jump  down the page and display the selected portion of text. Can also refer to a familiar thing used as a base for building new learning (see anchored instruction).

anchored instruction
Providing a knowledge base for students that they can build on; teaching and learning activities are built around a familiar or understood situation and/or circumstance that fosters exploration in order to solve a problem.

A process used to smooth or remove jagged edges in computerized graphics.

API (application program interface)
Routines,  protocols and tools for building software programs within an operating environment. For example, getting a learning management system to 'talk to' a client resource management system would require that a programmer build an API.

artificial intelligence (AI)
Attempts to simulate certain characteristics and functionalities of the human brain with technology, usually by imitating that which is normally associated with human reasoning and learning.

aspect ratio
The height and width proportions of images. Some programs allow you to maintain the aspect ratio when sizing a picture, i.e. when you change the width,the height changes proportionally so that the resulting image does not look distorted. In television, the aspect ratio is 4:3, that is, 4 units across and 3 units down; in HDTV it is 16:9.

Assessment is used to determine the extent that leaning has taken place or to estimate the value of learning. Assessment methods or tools can be a number of activities such as creating a project, taking a test, writing a paper and more. Assessment is sometimes confused with evaluation, which looks more at the efficiencies of whole systems or mechanisms that make learning possible.

assistive technology
Any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain or improve the functional capabilities of children with disabilities.

asynchronous (communication)
Opposite to synchronous communication, If events are asynchronous, they do not have to happen in any particular order, and one event's occurrence does not depend on the occurance of another event. For example, with threaded discussion email or lists, learners can submit their comments at any time; comments can be received in any order, and they do not all have to be online at the same time. The major advantages are that the learning is convenient to access for mature learners, the learning is collaborative, and time away gives time for reflection.

authentic assessment
An assessment strategy that presents tasks reflecting the type of mastery demonstrated by experts in real-world situations or environiments. 

authoring program
Programs used to create prototypes or full multimedia productions, such as simulations and tutorials; most of these programs have some point-and-click features to simplify development, most require some knowledge of programming language concepts; popular authoring software packages include Asymetrix ToolBook, Microsoft Visual Basic, Macromedia Director and Authorware, and Hyperstudio; most use either a book and page (i.e. - cards and stacks), timeline or flowchart metaphor.


A high-speed network connecting regional and local area networks to the Internet.

The capacity of a network or other data connection for carrying data information. It is measured in cycles per second (hertz, Hz). Click here for a very basic video on bandwidth. In digital transmission, bandwidth is usually measured in bits per second (bps).

baud rate
The number of transitions per second made by a modem.

Any (preferrably observable and measureable) activity a learner will be expected to exhibit after instruction. It is the primary component of an objective.

Behaviourism deals with regulating or controlling behaviour through stimulus-response reinforcements. B.F. Skinner (1904-1990) is often associated with behaviourism theories. By realizing what observable, measurable and controllable educational objectives are, a teacher can control the stimuli so that the learner responds in an anticipated way.

blended learning
Using a combined variety of delivery mediums that support and augment each other. Some of the main advantages to a blended learning approach include providing more continous and/or focussed learning, better interaction with learners, and reaching a broader learner base. 

blog (Weblog)
Journal-like entries posted on a personal Web site for public viewing. They can also take on the attributes of an asynchronous forum, containing comments, links and discussions from a variety of contributors.

BLOB (Binary Large Object)
Multimedia objects (or other data) stored as a collection of binary data in a database.

Bloom's Taxonomy
In 1956, Benjamin Bloom and his colleagues developed a hierarchical chart or taxonomy indicating the main types of learning. He identified six levels within the cognitive domain. Although many taxonomic analyses of learning behavior have been developed, Bloom’s has created a standard dialogue and is still popular for identifying and creating educational objectives and activities to facilitate better learning. See expanded definition and chart

A computing and telecommunications industry specification that describes how mobile phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and computers can interconnect and coordinate with each other using a short-range wireless connection.

Boolean (also Boolean Operator)
A system of logic that, when applied to searches, modifies search terms with the "operators" AND, OR and NOT. Boolean operators allow you to broaden or narrow the range of your search.

1) When you 'bookmark' a page, you tell your Web browser to record that page's address (URL), so that you can go back to it easily, without having to type in the URL again. Bookmarks are called 'favorites' in Microsoft Internet Explorer. It keeps your place, much like a bookmark in a book does. Most browsers have an easy method of saving the URL to create a bookmark. 2) Microsoft Web editors use the term bookmark to refer to a location within a hyperlink destination within a Web page, referred to elsewhere as an anchor or target.

brain science
At present, ‘brain-based’ theories offer us nothing more than a few implications for learning. For example, one such theory known as the modal directionality principle, suggests that the teaching of new information or structures should follow a right-brain to left-brain mode flow (experiential to analytical). This suggests that experiential forms of instruction belong to the initial learning stages and should move progressively towards a more formal, analytical style in the later stages. For the time being, this type of research can offer little perspective on how we learn and gain understanding, but this may change in a few decades or so. 

broken link
A hyperlink connection to another Web page which no longer works. Web pages are often moved or erased and links to these pages sometimes do not reflect this change. A broken link is a dead end which no longer opens the page to which it refers.

Software which lets you view material designed for the World Wide Web. Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator are the most commonly used Web browsers. A browser usually displays documents created in Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), the language used for creating Web pages.

bit (binary digit)
An abbreviation for binary digit, which is the smallest unit of computer storage. It is a binary number, being either 1 or 0 (also referred to as 'on or off'). Grouped together in larger numbers, bits become bytes. Typically, 8 bits comprise a byte. One byte is equivalent to one alphaneumaric symbol or character.

bit depth
see colour depth

bit map (.bmp)
A raster file or graphic in which one or more bits are used to describe the colour of each pixel. See expanded definition of image formats and also resizing bit mapped images.

bits per second
The number of bits that pass a given point in one second. For example, modems typically transfer information over telephone lines at 56,000bps, or 56.6kps (kilobits per second).

bulletin board or BBS
An older term used for an announcement and conferencing facility for electronic discussions. Early systems were used via modem and phone line only, and by the mid 1980's some BBSs began to work on networks as well.

When grouped together in larger numbers, bits of computer information become bytes. Typically, 8 bits comprise a byte. One byte is equivalent to one alphaneumaric symbol or character.


Video capture cards let you record/digitize pictures for use with a computer. The pictures may be still-images or movies. Once captured, the picture data is compressed using a CODEC, with playback requiring CODEC-decompression. With many capture cards, you can compress video in real-time, or 'on the fly', provided you have a fast enough machine and sufficient defragmented storage space on your hard drive. There are also software and/or hardware capture combinations available, especially using FireWire with digital video formats.

clip art
Collections of pictures/photographs. Many application programs, such as PowerPoint, and Word contain built-in clipart.

A special file or memory area (buffer) where data is stored temporarily before being copied to another location. The clipboard can be used to copy data from one application to another (i.e. – from Word Perfect to Maplewood). The clipboard can hold only one item at a time and is flushed when you turn the computer off.

CMC (computer-mediated communication)
A term used for computer-based teaching and learning at a geographical distance in either synchronous or asynchronous modes.

COD (Content on Demand)
Immediate delivery of an archived media object anywhere, anytime via a network. Variants include audio on demand and video on demand.

A program and/or device that COmpresses/DECompresses digital video. Cinepak, Quicktime, REAL and Indeo (Intel) are examples of CODEC's.

Cognitivism is somewhat the converse of behaviourism, as it deals more with how an individual’s mind works, thinks, remembers and learns. It holds that learner-constructed, relevant knowledge that is built upon prior knowledge is more likely to be acquired and retained for practical use, and in time, the action that this knowledge produces may become an entirely automatic program within the learner.

cognitive flexibility theory (CFT)
Some domains may contain so much knowledge that the learner cannot possibly store or retrieve it on demand (i.e. - medicine). By presenting knowledge in a variety of ways or situations, learners acquire the ability to develop cognitively flexible processing skills. New understanding is constructed from prior knowledge, and the prior knowledge itself may be constructed to suit a particular situation.

collaborative learning
Collaborative learning is based on a student-centered model in which learners are active participants and share ideas in a community setting to deepen understanding, promote the spirit of learning, and increase competence in working with others. A collaborative learning environment encourages students to state their opinions and differences while constructing beliefs and meaning (see also zone of proximal development).

colour depth
Refers to the number of different colours that software or hardware is able to display. Colour depth is related to the number of bits allocated to each pixel, such as in bit mapped graphics. See expanded definition.

The component of an objective in an instructional design process that describes the situation and/or environment in which the learner must exhibit the specified behavior.

competency management
A system used to evaluate skills, knowledge, and performance within an organization, and subsequently introduce training, compensation, and recruiting programs.

(file) - process for reducing file size, often called 'zipping' or 'archiving'. The resulting, compressed file can be from a single, large file or can contain several files that have been squeezed into a single file. The many-to-one compression makes file group identification, copying, and transporting faster and easier. (video) - Process which reduces the number of bytes required to store/transmit digital video. Typical schemes involve comparing frames and coding-out, or eliminating, inter-frame and intra-frame redundancies. The compression may be done by software, hardware or a combination of the two. On playback, the data is decompressed. See CODEC.

An individual's level of knowledge, understanding, skill and/or performance required for a specific situation.

A program from Netscape which can be used to create and edit HTML documents. Composer is a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor, meaning that you can create the Web page as you want it to look on the screen, and the program adds the HTML source code necessary to make sure that the page looks right in a Web browser. Composer can be downloaded free from Netscape.

Computer-Assisted Instruction (CAI) 
An older but still viable term dealing with the effective use of computers (typically in educational institutions) to aid in the delivery of instruction. Approaches range from drill-and-practice methods (1950's)  to those that incorporate more complex branching (1960's). 

Computer-Based Training (CBT) 
A term more commonly used in industry than education for interactive instruction where the computer provides the stimulus and the learner responds, resulting in progress toward increased skills or knowledge. The term CBT is a more encompassing than CAI, and may also include Web-based Training (WBT), and CD-ROM and DVD-based training.

Born on the heels of cognitivism, constructivism suggests that knowledge and information are formed in mental structures, which are tested and elaborated upon until the structures become established. Learners are encouraged to construct their own understanding, and validate their new perspectives through social negotiation and collaboration.

critical thinking skills 
The skills required for an individual to think logically and draw conclusions from facts and evidence rather than accept opinions, conclusions and judgements from others.

A term used in computer graphics referring to a method used to cut off the areas within or around an image to make it the proper size or to remove unwanted parts. Most graphics applications allow you to crop images.

A term used by networkers to refer to the vast, worldwide environment full of information being transmitted or stored by inter-networked computers. The term was coined by William Gibson in his fantasy novel, Neuromancer to describe the world of computers, and the society that gathers around them.


DAC (Digital to Analog Converter)
A sound card (hardware) or software component that converts or plays sounds stored in a digital file. See expanded definition.

data projector
A device for taking the information that you would normally see on a computer monitor and projecting it onto to a larger movie screen. By projecting your work instead of displaying it on a monitor, you can show a PowerPoint slide show, a Web page, or other projects you've developed on the computer to a larger group of people.

The study of an audience to determine its characteristics, for example, its age, wealth, education, etc.

design phase
The second (usually) of a general instructional design phase. The purpose of this phase is to define and organize the information from which the instruction will be developed.

Typically the third phase of an instructional systems design process (i.e. - ADDIE) where the training materials are produced and validated according to the analysis and design requirements.

DeskScan II
Software from Hewlett-Packard used in conjunction with a scanner. Using DeskScan II, pictures or documents can be "scanned in" to the computer (turned into digital files), edited, and placed in one of the right formats to be posted on a Web page or inserted into PowerPoint presentations.

dialing in (dial up)
Using a phone line and modem to establish a connection to a computer. Generally, people who use this type of connection do not stay connected all the time; they only dial in when they need to access the Internet. These types of connections are slower than on-campus Ethernet connections.

dialog box
A small window which appears on the computer screen that either requires that you perform an action, select an option, or provides you with information. For example, dialog boxes ask you questions like, "Do you want to save this document?" or "Are you sure that you want to exit this program?"

see capturing and sampling.

Just as a drawer is a space where one keeps folders in a file cabinet, a directory is a place to store folders on a computer. For example, you could have a directory called 'subjects' that contains individual file folders filled with information about each class that you teach. Directories contain folders (or subdirectories), and folders contain files.

distance learning
Associated with teaching and learning at a geographical distance, and is considered to be more of a delivery method than a philosophical approach. It may be considered a subset of an open learning approach, referring to courses delivered off-campus using either traditional or new technologies, and teachers may or may not be present in the learning environment.

Distiller (Adobe Acrobat)
A software program from Adobe which converts postscript files to portable document format (.pdf) files. Postscript files have special coding, which instruct the printer how to print the document.

distributed learning
Deals with a wide range of activity in a continuum. At one end is a supplement to face-to-face teaching and at the other end it is fully off campus, becoming defined more as distance learning.

The blending of colors to modify colors or produce new ones (usually to compensate for a limited number of colors available in a palette).

dots per inch (dpi)
Printer resolution indicating how many ink dots the printer can place in a one inch square. Typical resolutions for printers range from 300 to 600 dpi for text and1200 x 600 dpi for graphics; sometimes confused with ppi, or pixles per inch.

Transferring files or information from a remote computer or server to your computer( i.e. - you can download files over the Internet).

By holding down the mouse button over an object, you can move objects around on the screen, resize borders and objects or select text in blocks.

drop down menu
A menu showing a list of choices on a Web page. When you click on the down arrow next to the first choice, the other choices on the list appear below, or 'drop down'. You can then select the choice that you want. On the Internet, a drop down menu will usually give you a choice of links to follow, or allow you to post information on a form.

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
Broadband technology that transmits data over existing telephone lines.

Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DC, DCMI)
The Dublin Core is a metadata element set. It includes DCMI terms intended to facilitate the discovery of resources. See the Dublin Core Web Site for additional information. 


The philosophies and practices that seek to increase an individual’s general capacities to function and thrive in society, including learning to think and learn.

educational technology 
A domain that creates systematic solutions to educational problems. Often misinterpreted as an IT function, it is a widely integrated field combining expertise and practice in educational psychology and philosophy, instructional design, multimedia, hard and soft technology systems and organizational management to create or manage learning resources and environments.

Can be thought of as the use of networked computer technology to connect learners to various individuals and/or resources, which has the potential to create more and varied opportunities to meet (specific) learning needs.

electronic discussion
Electronic discussion provides a way for topical discussions outside of a classroom. Students can post messages to one another and to the instructor electronically. A number of tools can make this easier, including newsgroups and listservs. Also referred to as a threaded discussion list, (electronic) bulletin board or asynchronous chat forum.

Abbreviation commonly used for electronic mail. A letter or memo sent to a person or group electronically over the Internet or other network.

email address
A user's electronic mailbox name or address, needed for linking the sender of email and the recipient. Characterized by the '@' sign in the address (i.e. -

email attachments
Programs and documents can be sent attached or appended to email messages. These attachments are not part of the message, and must be read or viewed separately. Attachments do not have to be text documents; any computer file (images, programs, spreadsheets, etc.) can be attached to email. Most email programs allow you to attach various files.

email newsgroups
One method to facilitate discussion outside of class. Students subscribe to a group and send messages to all other students in the group. The list is like an electronic bulletin board, so students need to check it periodically to read the new messages.

embedded performance support
Electronic job aids that are used to improve job performance rather than learning because they are used to direct immediate performance.

emoticons or smilies
Combinations of keyboard characters which enable electronic correspondents to convey non-verbal cues. Hundreds are currently known. The most popular is the 'happy face' :) They can help people understand multiple meanings by adding some emotion to textual messages.

A method of securing privacy on a network through the use of complex algorithmic codes. For example, email that is not encrypted can be viewed by anyone having access.

entry behaviors or skills
Specific competencies or skills a learner must have mastered before entering a certain instructional activity.

The philosophy dealing with the acquisition of knowledge, especially in regards to its methods, validity and scope.

evaluation phase
Typically, the fifth phase of an instructional design process. The purpose of this phase is determine the value or worth of the instructional program. This phase can actually be conducted during and/or between all other phases.

A program in the Microsoft Office Suite that creates spreadsheets. Initially developed for accounting, spreadsheets like Excel are now used for a variety of other projects which require that data be organized in a table or grid format.


A guiding role that allows learners to take a more active role in learning. For example, facilitators can assist learners in making connections between theory and their own knowledge and experiences by encouraging them to create new solutions, challenging their assumptions, and asking probing questions. IN this way, learning can becvome more meaningful and engrained. Facilitators and moderators are present in most online learning scenarios. 

fair use guidelines
Relates to the support for educators and educational institutions within compliance of Intellectual Property Rights laws (copyright). It refers to an agreement between industry (the copyright holders), education and the government allowing limited use without the purchase of materials.

Abbreviation for ‘Frequently Asked Questions’. A document (often a hypertext document) containing common questions and answers on a particular website or topic.

file extension
These are the three letters which come after the dot in the name of a file, and tell your computer what kind of file it is. Examples are .jpg (an image file), .doc (a Microsoft Word document), .txt (a text file), .html (a Web document).

file size
The size of the file is the amount of disk storage space taken up taken up by a file (measured in bytes). Generally, smaller files will load (appear on the screen) faster on the World Wide Web, and it is to your advantage to make files as small as possible. Certain file formats are preferred for Internet use as they compress the file size.

Hardware and/or software used to restrict access on a network. For example, many schools restrict access to unpleasant Internet sites through a firewall, and also use it to protect sensitive files on the school's server.

An IEEE 1394 bus for connecting devices to your computer. FireWire provides a single plug-and-socket connection with fast data transfer speeds up to 400 Mbps (megabits per second). Ideal for capturing or transferring digital video. 

formative assessment
Measurements of learning that are given frequently during the course of instruction that are designed to provide information and feedback to an instructor about how the students are performing.

formative evaluation
Measurment made frequently during the course of instruction designed to provide information and feedback to an instructor about a course of learning for the purpose of learning, monitoring, developing, and improving.

Software that is available free of charge for personal use. Freeware can be downloaded from the Internet.

A Microsoft program used to create and edit HTML documents. It can be used to create large complex Web sites. FrontPage is a WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) editor, meaning that you can create the Web page exactly as you want it to look on the screen, and the program adds the HTML source code necessary to make sure that the page looks right in a Web browser.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
A method of transfering files from one computer to another. Usually, it is used to copy files from a personal computer to a server, so that they can be accessed by others. There are several common software programs that are used to transfer files (depending on which operating system your computer is running): WS_FTP, Internet Neighborhood, or Fetch. FTP is often used to download files from Internet sites, many of which allow users to log in anonymously and download public repositories of material (programs, images, text, etc.). These sites are called 'anonymous ftp sites'.


Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction
A method for organizing instructional strategies within a lesson. The Nine Events of Instruction include: 

1) Gain Attention
2) Inform Learners of the Objectives
3) Stimulate Recall of Prior Learning
4) Present the Stimulus (Content)
5) Provide Learner Guidance
6) Elicit Performance 
7) Provide Informative Feedback 
8) Assess Performance 
9) Enhance Transfer and Retention
GIF (.gif - Graphic Interchange Format)
One of the most common file formats for images and graphics on the World Wide Web. Images can have various bit-depth, and GIF89A files support transparency features (i.e. - transparent backgrounds). Not preferred for photographic images.

gigabyte (GB)
Amount of computer storage equivalent to approximately 1 billion bytes or 1,000 megabytes. This measurement is often used when measuring the capacity of hard drives or other storage devices.

Pronounced ‘gooey’ –  an acronym for ‘Graphical User Interface’ which refers to the organization of the (graphical) symbols on a computer screen that allow a user to interact with a program.


helper applications
A program launched by your browser which allows you use special kinds of files. These applications commonly let you see and hear video and audio files, as well as view specialized text files or virtual reality models. Shockwave and RealAudio are examples of helper applications. Another common term for these programs is 'plug ins', as they supplement the capabilities of your browser, and only run when they are needed to display files.

hertz (Hz)
1 hertz equals 1 cycle per second, measuring the frequency of electric vibrations. The human range of hearing is approximately 20 - 20,000 Hz.

The study or gaining of knowledge through (scientific) investigations and data gathering.

home page
The first, title or main page that your browser will open when you access a Web address (URL). The home page generally serves as a gateway to the rest of the Web site by providing links to the other pages.

HomePage (Claris)
A program released by Claris that is used to create and edit HTML (World Wide Web) documents.

Hypertext Markup Language for creating electronic documents for the World Wide Web. HTML incorporates a standard group of TAGS that tell a Web browser how to display the pages it receives. HTML codes (called 'tags') tell your browser how to arrange text and images on the computer screen. You can write the code yourself using any text editor (i.e. Notepad or Microsoft Word), or can use any one of several commercially available HTML editors that create the code automatically when you create a Web document.

HTML document
A document or Web page that is written in Hypertext Markup Language (HTML).

HTML editor
A program used to edit documents which are written in Hypertext Markup Language. Common programs are Microsoft FrontPage, FrontPage Express, Claris Home Page, Adobe GoLive and Netscape Composer.

http (hypertext transfer protocol)
The standard protocol or method used to transfer data in HTML format from a server to a remote computer. Web addresses often begin with http://, indicating that the documents you will access are using this protocol.

Humanistic learning theories deal with guiding students towards physical, mental, emotional, and moral development, where self-actualization is the goal (A. Maslow). Similar to social constructivist theories, students discover their personal interests and develop their potential as happy, healthy individuals by relating within a community. The emphasis is on authentic human relationships and the development of self-esteem, creativity and critical thinking skills.

A system for storing information using embedded references to  other pages, sounds, and graphics used on the WWW. Interactive programs in which information is stored in a number of different media and cross-linked so that it can be retrieved and presented in a variety of ways that amplify meaning for the user; hypermedia involves the presentation of information in media that most effectively communicates its content, and provides the user with the means to sequence information in ways that are most appropriate to a given task.

A popular user-friendly multimedia authoring program that allows a user to combine images, text, graphics, video and audio into interactive programs or presentations. Hyperstudio uses a 'card' and 'stack' or 'page' and 'book' metaphor.

Text or images on a Web page that, when clicked with a mouse, cause your browser to load another page of HTML. Because a simple mouse click allows the user to easily go from one page of hypertext to another, these pages are said to be 'hyperlinked'. The connections or links are denoted, generally, as underlined, coloured text. The documents or Web pages to which the hypertext connects may be local or remote (i.e. -  in a different country).Hyperlinks that are images often take the form of 'buttons.'


A small graphic symbol that represents a program, file, or folder on a computer. Clicking on an icon with a mouse generally causes the program to run, the folder to open, or the file to be displayed (if possible).

An invisible (on a Web browser) grid that is overlayed on top of an existing image on a Web page (usually a .gif file or a .jpg file), which allows the image to serve as a hyperlink to another Web page. Several different hyperlinks can be mapped onto different parts of a single image.

Impatica (OnCue) is a software application that allows for the production and online delivery of synchronized video and/or audio with PowerPoint combined with searchable text, dynamic indexing and navigation. What is really unique about this product is that the presentations do not require any third-party plug-ins or special software to work over the Internet. 

implementation phase
Typically, the fourth phase of a general instructional design process. The instruction is actually carried out and delivered to the learners during this phase.

IMS Global Learning Consortium
Develops and promotes the adoption of open technical specifications for interoperable learning technology. Several IMS specifications have become worldwide de facto standards for delivering learning products and services. IMS specifications and related publications are available to the public at no charge.

ISAT (Instructional Systems Approach To Teaching)
This instructional design process is comprised of terminal and intermediate learning performance objectives, assessment, feedback, teaching strategies, and learning activities.

The processes that facilitate designed changes in an individual's capacities, typically in knowledge and skills.

instructional design process (ID)
A systematic approach to developing instruction. Although there are many variations, the process typically includes five phases: analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation (ADDIE).

instructional designer
A specialist usually well versed in learning theory and instructional design processes who designs educational and training content around measurable objectives.

instructional goals
Clear statements of behavior that learners are to demonstrate as a result of instruction. The procedures applied to an instructional goal in order to identify the relevant skills and their subordinate skills and the information required for a student to achieve the goal is known as instructional analysis.

Refers to an application or system that provides information in response to the user’s input. There is a greater potential for students to become more engaged in active learning with a highly interactive computer program or environment.

integration literacy
Matching appropriate technologies to achieve learning expectations; combining the use of technology with teaching and learning strategies to improve or enhance learning opportunities and outcomes.

A (slang) term for an Internet user.

A global network linking millions of computers for communications purposes. The Internet was first developed in 1969 for the U.S. military and gradually grew to include educational and research institutions. In the last five years, connections to, and use of, the Internet have mushroomed to include almost 400 million users, primarily due to the popularity of Web surfing and email.

Internet 2
A nationwide (U.S.) project to develop the next generation of computer network applications to facilitate the research and education missions of universities.

Internet Explorer
A popular Web browser, created by Microsoft, used to view pages on the World Wide Web.

ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network)
A telecommunications standard allowing communications channels (i.e. – telephone lines) to carry voice, video, and data simultaneously.


A programming language created by Sun Microsystems which allows the user to create programs which run well in a networked environment (such as the World Wide Web). Java programs are commonly called "applets" and can be used to add anything from calculators to animated images to Web sites.

A type of programming code written in Sun Microsystems' Java programming language. Javascript can make your Web pages interactive in a variety of ways. For example: telling users whether they've filled out a form correctly, displaying animated images, or allowing images to change when users touch them with the mouse pointer.

JPG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
Commonly referred to as J-PEG, this is a commonly used file format for (compressed) photographic images on the World Wide Web.  When creating a .jpg file, the amount of image compression is variable, sacrificing more image quality with more compression selected. See expanded definitions on image file formats. See also information on resizing bit mapped images


kilobyte (K)
One thousand bytes of data; one floppy disc stores approximately 1.5 kilobytes of data.

Concepts developed by Donald Kirkpatrick describing four levels of evaluation have become a standard for measuring the effectiveness of training.

knowledge economy (skills)
Labour is becoming more knowledge-based, and some workers have been displaced, or re-integrated into the workforce in new ways. Those with knowledge of how to use and incorporate new technologies are highly sought after, and they typically have learned how to update and maintain their skills through lifelong learning. Technology can play an important role in this process.

knowledge management (KM)
An approach to capturing and using knowledge (social know-how) to improve organizational outcomes (i.e. - performance, innovation, etc.) and learning by making knowledge assets available for transfer and reuse.


LAN  (Local Area Network)
A localized network such as those found in schools and office buildings (or groups of buildings) that connects a number of computers, usually to a server.

learning content management system (LCMS)
An application or set of applications that manage the creation, storage, use, and reuse of learning content. LCMS's typically store content in granular forms such as reusable learning objects.

learning management system (LMS)
Learning Management Systems consist of software that connects users with resources, and may offer a number of features such as chat facilities, testing, course notes, quizzes, and student-tracking. WebCT and Blackboard are examples of popular LMS’s.

learning object
A small short piece of instruction that is still large enough to teach an entire concept and/or produce a learning outcome. The granularity or size can vary from a simple multimedia clip or multiple choice test to an entire course. Also referred to as 'knowledge bits' or 'knowledge chunks'. The idea behind reusable learning objects (RLO's), is that these smaller units of instruction can be easily, affordably and quickly combined for more specific and customized learning. New meta data schema can be stored separate from the object, useful when managing learning object repositories (i.e. - MERLOT, CARIO and Splash.

Learning Resource iNterchange (LRN)
A reference implementation of the IMS Content Packaging and Metadata Specifications to streamline and simplify the way that eLearning products are made. The LRN implementation of the IMS specification accelerates the adoption of eLearning by making it easier to create, customize, update, and share online learning content and applications. 

learning styles
A learning style approach to learning emphasizes the fact that individuals may perceive and process information in very different ways. In considering the manner in which a learner perceives, interacts, and responds in a technology-based (or any other) learning environment, we can think about how an individual learns (cognitive), what motivates the learning (affective), and how they respond to their environment (physiological). One of many theories on how people learn is the multiple intelligence theory.

learner-centered (learning) environment
A learning environment in which learners are encouraged to choose their own learning goals and projects according to the paramters set and their personal interests and learning style. This approach incorporates the theory that individual's have a natural inclination to learn, learn better when they work on real-world or authentic tasks and benefit from interacting with others.

lifelong learning
In order to remain viable and survive in a labor market driven by rapidly changing demands (knowledge economy), today's workers must know how to quickly update their knowledge and skills on a continual basis throughout their lifetimes.The present state of information communication technology is clearly posed to meet this growing need, and the paradigm that has emerged for education in this century is based on the attributes of networked online learning. It enables the ability of individuals to learn anything, anywhere, anytime - by, from or with anyone.

Denoting a straight sequencial fashion, as in one after another in a straight line. Many digital technologies are 'non-linear', such as in non-linear video editing, where the program does not have to be assembled in a progressive order.

Electronic mail-based discussion groups. Users submit their names to the LISTPROC server via email and are added to the list, Users then receive all email messages that are sent to the list. LISTSERVs are a convenient way for people to electronically discuss a common interest.

Local Area Network - (LAN)
See LAN.


meaningful learning
The degree of knowledge and information acquisition, transformation, assimilation and retention in a learner seems to be dependent upon the significance or meaningfulness of it all to the learner. Thus, meaningful learning is concerned more with creating true or deeper understandings, rather than behavioural changes alone. 

meta data
Is basically data about data. It is the term for information that most commonly refers to descriptive information about Web resources. For example, detailed information about the content of a Web page can be stored in and retrieved from the page code, or new meta data schema can be stored separate from the Web page or object, such as in learning object repositories (i.e. - MERLOT, CARIO and Splash.

An individual's ability to consider, regulate and plan their own thinking and learning. This includes reviewing one's own current and previous knowledge, identifying gaps in that knowledge, planning strategies, determining the relevance of new information, and revising skills, knowledge and/or attitudes accordingly.

An tag identifying the contents of a Web page or site. Information commonly found in the metatag includes copyright information, key words for search engines, and formatting descriptions of the Web page. With XML, metatags can include more meta data, ideal for use when searching for things such as learning objects.

MPEG (Motion Picture Experts Group) - a hardware CODEC for compressing video files. Current ISO Standards: 1. MPEG1 - 1/4 broadcast quality translating to 352x240pixels (consumer-quality video). 2. MPEG2 - Full-motion quality translating to 704x480 pixels and 30 fps (broadcast-quality video). 3. MPEG3 - The latest.

A function that allows users to send email to the authors or sponsors of a Web site just by clicking on a hyperlink. This function will not work if the browser does not support the ability to send mail.

megabyte (MB)
1,000,000 bytes or 1,000 kilobytes of data; typical computer hard drive sizes can store anywhere from 1 to 4 megabytes of data.

mixed mode (e-learning delivery)
In mixed mode, a large percentage of instruction may be carried out online, but not all instruction.  In addition to the activities in adjunct delivery mode, more customized material can be delivered online, and interaction may take place through threaded asynchronous discussion and email. Classes may only meet traditionally on occasion to review material and discuss difficulties.

moderated list
An electronic discussion list where the list moderator (usually the person who founded the list) checks the relevance or appropriateness of each message before sending it on to the rest of the list members.

MOO (Mud Object Oriented)
An implementation of a MUD system, which is a free software download in the public domain.

A standard for video compression and decompression defined by the Moving Pictures Expert Group. MPEG compression can reduce file size up to 95% so that it can be delivered or streamed over a network.

MUD (Multi-User Dungeon or Dimension)
An online or cyberspace environment where users can take on identities and interact with one another. Originally, MUDs were adventure games, but took on new meaning when used in creating educational role-playing communities. See also MOO.

The transmission of information to more than one recipient at a time. For example, streaming video in real-time as it is happening over the Internet to multiple viewers.

The combined or related use of graphic images, text, sound, animation and video on a computer platform (or other electronic device).

multiple intelligence theory
Dr. Howard Gardner, a professor of education at Harvard University, developed the theory of multiple intelligences in 1983. He proposes eight different intelligences to account for the wider range of human potential in individuals. The gist of this theory is that it can provide eight different potential pathways to learning. See expanded definition.


Navigation - the process of moving through or finding one's way around the contents of a multimedia or software program (i.e. - buttons, responses, etc.).

A popular Web browser, created by Netscape, used to view pages on the World Wide Web

needs assessment
A problem identification process that looks at the difference between "what is" and "what should be" for a particular situation (discrepancy approach). An objective is a statement of what the learners will be expected to do or know  when they have completed a specified course of instruction. A goal is something that is observable and measurable.

The informal rules of behavior while communicating or resource sharing on the Internet. The 'manners' used on the Internet.

One method to facilitate electronic discussion outside of class. Students subscribe to a group and send messages to all other students in the group. The list is like a bulletin board in electronic form, so students need to check it periodically to read the new messages.


OCR (Optical Character Recognition)
The method used by a computer to convert scanned in pages of text into electronic text documents. With OCR, a user can scan in a page from a book, and the computer and software will recognize the characters and create a file containing the same text as the scanned page. The finished file can then be opened in any word processor. By recognizing whole pages of text, OCR saves time by not having to type existing pages of text into the computer for manipulation and/ore storage.

OWL - see Web Ontology Language

open learning
Similar to distance learning, except that open learning may be a little more in that it provides certain freedoms for the learner. Learning activities arise from the learner, as it is based more on their individual needs, rather than those of a teacher or an institution. This 'openness' reflects in more freedom in regards to location, timing, costs and access as well as in methods of study and assessment.


The available color selections, usually ranging from 16 colors to 16.7 million; color resolution comparison. There are often color shifts from platform to platform that can have undesirable results. Macintosh and Windows share only 216 out of 256 colors. See, for information on 216-color palettes.

paradigm, paradigm shift
A model or example used to denote a structure or system. A paradigm shift would indicate a move to a different structure or system. In referrence to educational technology, there can be learning paradigms, design paradigms, etc.

.pdf (portable document format)
A file format created by Adobe, initially to provide a standard form for storing and editing printed publishable documents. Because documents in .pdf format can easily be seen and printed by users on a variety of computer and platform types, they are very common on the World Wide Web. To view files of this type, download the Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free from Adobe's Web site.

performance-based objectives
Each objective is a description of performance you want learners to be able to exhibit before you consider them competent. Each objective is specified as a measurable behavior,  and an acceptable level of correctness or behavior has also been specified. Performance objectives refer to course goals that specify the information and/or skills to be mastered AND specify what students will do to demonstrate mastery.

performance-based assessment
Observation of an individual's actual performance or examples of performances according to pre-established performance criteria. Individuals are assessed on the process used as well as the final results. Often referred to as "show that you know" assessment.

A programming language used on the World Wide Web. It is designed to be used for functions which are too complicated for a browser to run, but not worth the effort of programming into a more complicated language (like C).

PHP (Personal Home Page)
A server-sidehtml-embedded scripting language that enables writing simple scripts right in  HTML files much like JavaScript does, except, unlike JavaScript PHP/FI is not browser-dependant. It can replace cgi-scripting with Perl in many occasions.

An expensive and powerful software program from Adobe which is used to create and manipulate images. Pictures can be dramatically changed using PhotoShop: colors changed, images sharpened, parts of the picture removed or moved.

PICture ELements = Pixel. The tiny dots comprising a picture on a computer monitor or television screen. Look VERY closely at your TV to see tiny pixels.

pixels per inch (ppi)
The number of the smallest parts of an image that a computer screen or CRT can display in one square inch. Most monitors display 72 ppi, which means that any higher resolution is not noticed and wasted in file size.  Viewers will not be able see any difference in resolution higher than 72 ppi (MAC - up to 96 ppi on PC's), and the larger file size will slow the download time. See expanded definition.

A program that compresses files so that they will take up less storge space in a disk. Many files are stored 'zipped' or 'compressed' on servers, to decrease the time you spend downloading them. After they are on your computer, you need to 'unzip' them to be able to run them (using pkunzip, WinZip, or other programs) . Some compressed files will uncompress automatically after you download them.

Scripts, programs or utilities that add certain functionality to an exsisting program. For example, the Macromedia Shockwave plug-in allows for special content to be displayed within a Web browser, and plug-ins for filters and special effects can be used in Adobe Photoshop. Also referred to as 'helper applications'.

Typically, a portal provides a personalized, single point of access to a range of network services, but it can also include a variety of communication and collaboration tools, and even a wider range of tools for creating, cataloguing, distributing and tracking content.

A program in the Microsoft Office suite which allows users to create 'slide show like' presentations (and handouts).  Users create a series of PowerPoint slides by adding text, colour, images, sounds, and movies.

Problem-based learning (PBL)
A learning approach where a problem is presented and knowledge is developed as a consequence of trying to solve it. 

A whole or partially functional version of a new process and/or product that allows for conception, testing, revision, and/or evaluation. In e-learning for example, one module or section of a course may be completed to provide the means to analyze the structure, content and/or process before the entire project is completed.

proxy server
A server that functions as a firewall, which can screen incoming and outgoing messages and other data transmissions.


Quicktime (qt, .mov)
A type of sound and video CODEC or playback format for computers, which is has become an industry standard. It can also be played as it downloads from the Internet, or streamed with an appropriate plug-in. For more information, see Apple's Quicktime site. A lesson on how to embed a Quicktime movie in a Web page is available from (login: 'learning' password: 'learning').


RLO (Reusable Learning Object)
See learning objects.

RealAudio and RealVideo
A codec for Real-time, live audio and/or video on the Web. RealAudio highly compresses sound files to ship down the Internet. After front-loading a portion of the recording, the receiving player starts, pulling in remaining portions. This lets users begin listening or viewing as the file is being downloaded, hence the term "real-time", rather having to wait until downloading is complete. You can take a closer look at

A plug-in or helper application developed by Real Networks, that allows a user to hear audio and video saved in various file formats. Realplayer also plays streaming media, that is, audio or video that is being broadcast live over the internet. Clicking on some hyperlinks will cause your browser to activate RealPlayer.

An application from Real Networks that allows users to record audio files and present them on the World Wide Web.

remediation, remedial 
A term that originally referred to teaching children with learning difficulities, it is now viewed as a (repetative) process for raising a learner's knowledge and skills relative to the learning objectives selected. Methods can include basic drill-and-practice exercises up to more advanced interactive feeback.

The clarity or quality of a displayed/printed image or sound. With graphic images, the more pixels/dots per square inch (dpi), the finer the detail (higher resolution). In audio, the more samples per second, the higher the resolution. See also ppi.


When coverting video or audio to digital format, digitizing software picks out points along the wave and records or takes 'snapshots' of these points. These individual 'snapshots' can then be replayed in much the same way that motion pictures are recreated from the individual frames. The higher the sampling rate, the more snapshots/points per unit time, the more accurate the computer's representation of the original sound wave. See expanded definition.

An instructional technique in which complex tasks are broken down into smaller tasks and modelled for the learner only up to a certain point. For example, instructor or other support is provided at each level of complexity and then gradually removed. In this manner, learners can  accomplish as much of a task as possible without external assistance.

The process of turning pages from notebooks, typed documents, and photographs into digital images. After images have been digitized, they can be placed on World Wide Web pages. A scanner (machine) and scanning software software are required.

A computer device which 'reads' text or graphics and converts them into digitized documents/files. Most scanners work by lighting an image and measuring the light reflected through it. The scanner them converts the reflections into distinct voltages which are, in turn, transformed into patterns of dots. The resolution or clarity of the image is measured in dots per inch.

SCO - (Shareable Content Object)
A SCO is an object such as a graphic, piece of text, animation, audio or video clip, etc. that conforms to the SCORM specifications. By compiling SCO's, you can create learning objects.

SCORM - (Sharable Content Object Reference Model)
A collection of specifications adapted from multiple sources to help ensure interoperability, accessibility and reusability of Web-based learning content. Purchasers of LMS's or LCMS's may want to ensure SCORM compliancy to accomodate the easy transfer of e-learning programs or RLO's from one vendor's system to anothers.

search engine
A tool or program which allows keyword searching for relevant  sites or information on the Internet. General and topic-specific search engines are prevalent today, for example, Education World, WebCrawler, Infoseek, Dogpile, Lycos, and Yahoo are examples of search engines. Meta search engines such as ixquick and Google select the most popular sites from a variety of other search engines.

self-paced learning 
A situation or environment where the learner has control over a variety of factors, including what, when and even how learning takes place. This is a typical method for adult or lifelong learning.

semantic Web 
Internet inventor Tim Berners-Lee views the future Web as a web of data, like a global database. The semantic Web infrastructure will allow both machines and humans to make deductions and organize information through various architectural components. Semantic interoperability refers to the ability to search for digital resources across distributed databases whose metadata schemas have been mapped to one another.

A computer which is designed to be accessed by many other computers. Servers can be attached to local or wide area networks and/or be hooked up to the Internet. Servers can control the distribution of email, store Web pages, and provide access to files that are shared by many users. The term 'server-side' refers to applications and other things that are stored on the server as opposed to the desktop.

Copyrighted software that is available for personal use for a small fee, and often downloadable from the Internet.

An electronic imitation. SimCity is a game in which a simulation of a real city is created on a computer. Chemical interactions can be simulated with animated 3D graphical representations. Simulations are helpful when things are too big, too small, too expensive, or too complicated to bring into a classroom. Simulation software can be used to create real-life representations of situations on a computer.

skill gap analysis
Compares a person's existing skills to the skills required for a specific task. The difference between the two identify a skill gap.

smart quotes
Many word processors will automatically indent block quotes ten spaces, and will provide a different character for a open quotation mark, and a close quotation mark.

snail mail
A disparaging term for regular paper-based mail.

spam or spamming
Taken from the Monte Python routine (SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM); annoying junk or garbage postings widely distributed via email. Spamming is inappropriate behavior on any network and there are usually consequences for anyone caught doing it.

spreadsheet applications (sometimes referred to simply as spreadsheets) are computer programs that let you create and manipulate spreadsheets electronically. In a spreadsheet application, each value sits in a cell. Data can be defined in each cell and how different cells depend on one another. The relationships between cells are called formulas, and the names of the cells are called labels.

Anything that provokes a behavior from a learner. In an e-learning program, this could be anything from a photograph (visual stimulus) to a series of buttons to press with various responses.

streaming media
Any type of media (radio, television, virtual reality presentation, etc.) which can be view using a plug-in (RealNetworks's RealPlayer, or Microsoft's NetCast for example). The streaming media can be pre-recorded or even broadcast live, and can be from anywhere in the world. By using this feature, you will be able to enable view foreign broadcasts or listen to a radio station from across the world.

student-centered learning
See learner-centered environments.

A division in the way that a computer organizes information. The drawer of a file cabinet is analogous to a directory; it is a space where one keeps folders. In this analogy, each of these folders would be a subdirectory. Subdirectories contain many different files (and sometimes other subdirectories); for instance, if you had a directory on you computer called 'classes',  it might contain subdirectories like 'assignments',  'exams' and 'tests', and each of these subdirectories could contain files.

synchronous (communication)
When events are synchronous, they are happening at the same time in real time. For example, in synchronous communication, users can discuss issues in  ‘real time chat’. Videoconferencing is another example of synchronous communication.

Abbreviation for 'systems operator'. This is the person responsible for operating and/or monitoring a network. Electronic discussion groups often have a sysops to manage postings.


T1 (DS-1)
A method of digital transmission usually implemented over telephone circuits. Each T1 signal has the capacity to carry 24 simultaneous telephone conversations or data transmissions. T1 bandwidth is 1.544 megabits per second.

T-3 (DS-3)
A digital channel which communicates at a significantly faster rate than T-1.

Two way electronic communication between two or more groups in separate locations via audio, video, and/or computer systems. See also ‘video conferencing’.

The standard protocol for connecting one computer to another (usually, one of these computers will be a server running Unix). Telnet allows you to connect to another computer, input commands, and run programs.

terminal behavior 
The behavior that the learner is expected to demonstrate after the learning takes place. 

threaded email discussions
Commonly used on newsgroups or listservs, these are indexes which allow a user to follow one particular subject in a series of email messages. Because email lists often receive a large number of messages on diverse topics, it can often be difficult to follow a single discussion. When messages are threaded, all messages are grouped together by topic making it easier to follow a single line of argument.

A tiny copy (about the size of a thumbnail) of a larger image. Generally, thumbnails appear on Web pages to give users a general idea of what the image looks like before they choose to spend time waiting for the larger version to download. Clicking on a thumbnail image generally causes the larger image to load automatically.

Promotes the acquisition of specific knowledge, skills and/or attitudes that are typically work or vocation related.


A very popular operating system on the Internet. Unix is a system favoured by computer programmers, and is characterized by arcane, unintuitive commands. Mastering Unix requires some study.

unmoderated list
A listserv where messages are not censored in any way. Anyone can post any message to the list, and it will be received by all of the list members. Although there is no moderator, most unmoderated lists have a very complicated system of etiquette (called Netiquitte) that determines which responses are appropriate. It helps to read the frequently asked questions file (FAQ) of a newsgroup before posting a message to make sure that you are conforming to the appropriate decorum.

A method for uncompressing files on a PC after downloading them from the Internet. Many files are stored on servers in a compressed format, making them take up less disk space, and reducing the time it takes for you to download them. You must decompresses these files to make them usable by your computer. WinZip and pkunzip are popular free software programs that will uncompress files.

The process of transferring a file from a personal computer 'up' to a server, ususally to make the file available to others on the Internet.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
The address for documents on the World Wide Web. Addresses that begin with "http://" or "ftp://" usually indicate that they are URLs.

A format for a internet newsgroups. Usenet groups can be accessed by anyone, and contain informal messages on a variety of topics, as well as news and information from wire services such as the Associated Press and Reuter's News Agency.


A 'video teleconference' including two way video, ideal for distance learning applications. Desktop video conferencing can be done over the Internet with software such as ‘Net Meeting’, but it requires high bandwidth for even minimum resolution. Video teleconferencing units use 1 to 3 telephone lines (ISDN) for improved image and sound quality.

An adjective used to describe a phenomenon which is similar in essence or effect to another phenomenon but varies in form or substance  (i.e. - flight simulator). Virtual reality mimicks the real world through various visual, tactile, auditory and/or other artefacts.

visualization software
A variety of software packages that allow the creation of models of real world systems. These models are often three-dimensional in nature.


Web-based software
Software that is intended to be used on the World Wide Web.

Web-based survey/quiz/test
Interactive forms that allows individuals to post information online in response to questions created through various software, freeware and shareware. Most LMS's have quizz and test funtionality built-in.

Web-based Training (WBT)
A term referring to the convergence of distance learning, computer-aided instruction and Internet technologies in using the World Wide Web (WWW) for training and instruction.

A video or audio visual recording of an event that is digitized and streamed in real time or made available for download on the World Wide Web.

Web conference
A meeting of participants from disparate physical or geographic locations that's held in a synchronous environment over the Internet including any combination of text, audio and video.

Web Ontology Language - (OWL)
The OWL Web Ontology Language is designed to process the content of information so that it is more presentable, understandable and/or meaningful to humans. This is related to the principles underpinning the semantic Web

A synchronous online learning event (Web-seminar) broadcast over the Internet. Webinars may or may not utilyze two way online communication.

A Web-based learning activity. As defined by Bernie Dodge, San Diego State University and creator of this concept, "A WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented activity in which some or all of the information used by learners is drawn from the Web. WebQuests are designed to use learners' time well, to focus on using information rather than looking for it, and to support learners' thinking at the levels of analysis, synthesis and evaluation."

A type of Website ideal for collaborative writing that allows users to easily add, remove, or edit content (i.e. -

A program, published by WinZip, used to uncompress files after downloading them on a computer. Many files are stored on servers in a compressed format, making them take up less disk space, and reducing the time it takes for you to download them. WinZip decompresses these files, and makes them usable by your computer.

A (Microsoft) term for pre-designed elements (such as templates) in a software package that aid the user. For example, a 'letter wizard', within a word processing application, would lead the user through the steps of easily producing different types of correspondence.

Word is a Microsoft word processing program.  More recent versions of Word (Word 97 and higher) can also publish word files as HTML documents, so that they can be used on the World Wide Web.

World Wide Web (WWW or The Web)
A graphical interface for the Internet, composed of Internet servers that provide access to documents that in turn provide hyperlinks to other documents, multimedia files, and sites.

WORM (Write Once Read Many)
A type of data storage system that allows information to be saved to it only once, thereby archiving permanent data. WORM disks must be read by the same kind of drive that wrote them, making it difficult for the use of this technology to become widely accepted. The acronym can also refer to a type of malicious computer virus.

WS-FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
A popular application used to move files from one place to another. Most commonly, files are moved or uploaded from a computer's hard drive or storage device to a server, which makes files available to others to see on the World Wide Web (See File Transfer Protocol).

WYSIWG (What You See is What You Get)
A type of text editor that allows you to edit a document and see it as it will more or less appear in its final version. Most word processors are WYSIWIG, because they show you on the screen what a document will look like when you print it. Most HTML editors also fall into this category, because they allow you to edit a World Wide Web document and see it as it would look on a Web browser.


A language for use on the World Wide Web. XML provides more versatility and power than HTML, and the number of applications that support the use of XML is growing. Instead of using tags to describe how a document should look, it uses tags to describe the content of the document.



zone of proximal development
Russian social scientist Lev Votgotsky (1896 - 1934) put forward the idea that the gap or zone between the learner’s actual developmental level and potential developmental level can be narrowed through interaction/collaboration with peers of greater abilities.

Zip drives/disks
These are disks to use in special drives which hold more data than standard 3 1/2 inch floppy disks. Zip drives are commonly used to back up hard drives and large documents.