ABC of eLearning

The world of eLearning is rapidly evolving and changing. And like any changing world there is always plenty of jargon and new concepts to keep up with.

In our Research Week presentation – e-learning: opportunities, pitfalls and educational strategies (click to view recording) – I attempted to demystify some of these terms with an ‘ABC of eLearning‘.

A.    ADDIE Model – Framework for Instructional Systems Design (ISD). Analyse, Design, Develop, Implement, evaluate

B.    Blended Learning – hybrid learning program that uses a blend of online and face to face delivery

C.   Content Management System – allows for publishing, editing and modifying of content (back end of most websites)

D.   Discussion Board – online forum, chat room, blog etc

E.    Emoticons – 🙂

F.    FOAMed – Free Open Access Meducation

Life in the Fast Lane

G.   Gamification – the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts

Speed Camera Lottery

H.   HTML5 – mark up language used for presenting web content (improved support for multimedia)

I.    Instructional Design – practice of creating “instructional experiences which make the acquisition of knowledge and skill more efficient, effective, and appealing.“1 ·         

  1. Merrill, M. D., Drake, L., Lacy, M. J., Pratt, J., & ID2_Research_Group. (1996). Reclaiming instructional design. Educational Technology, 36(5), 5-7.

J.    Java – programming language designed to have minimum implementation dependencies

K.    Knowledge Management – the process of capturing, developing, sharing and effectively using organisational knowledge

L.    Learning Styles – natural pattern of processing information ·

David Kolbs model based on ‘experiential learning’ cycle

See One – Do One – Teach one

Experiential Learning

‘For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them’  –  Aristotle

M.   MOOC – Massive Open Online Course

N.   Netiquette – socially acceptable conduct in an online environment

Netiquette for beginners

  • Netiquette is a set of guidelines for acceptable online behaviour. It is important to remember when you are online that everyone else can read your postings. For this reason you should review any messages before you post them. You should also check your grammar and spelling. It is very easy for even the most seemingly innocent posting to be taken the wrong way. You should also be careful when you are commenting on the opinions of other people. Healthy debate is ok but at the same time you need to be sensitive to each other’s feelings. It is a good policy to think about what you might be saying (or not saying) before you post and to never post angry.
  • University of New England 2014

Netiquette ·

  • Rule 1: Remember the Human
  • Rule 2: Adhere to the same standards of behaviour online that you follow in real life
  • Rule 3: Know where you are in cyberspace
  • Rule 4: Respect other people’s time and bandwidth
  • Rule 5: Make yourself look good online
  • Rule 6: Share expert knowledge
  • Rule 7: Help keep flame wars under control
  • Rule 8: Respect other people’s privacy
  • Rule 9: Don’t abuse your power
  • Rule 10: Be forgiving of other people’s mistakes
  • Netiquette by Virginia Shea –

O.   Open Source – a development module that promotes free access to product and source code (self enhancing diversity)

P.    Pedagogy – The art of science of teaching

Q.   Quality Assurance – process to verify products meet specifications and requirements

R.   Reusable learning Object (RLO) – content, practice and assessments items based on a single learning objective (‘chunking’)


  • Breaking concepts down into small pieces (chunks) of information to make understanding faster and easier
  • E.g break a video down into small pieces

S.    Synchronous (compared to asynchronous) – Synchronous is in ‘real time’.

T.    Tacit knowledge – knowledge that we often don’t know that we know! Hard to transfer. (language, design, complex equipment)

U.   Usability – ease of use of a human-made object (accessibility)

Accessibility – Increased usability for everyone


curb cuts

V.    Virtual Classrooms – Blackboard Collaborate

W.  Wiki – an application that allows multiple people to add, edit or delete content in collaboration with others (wikipedia)


X.    XML – Extensible Mark Up Language – set of rules for encoding documents that machines and humans can read

Y.    YMMV (you mileage may vary)


Z.    Zip file – compressed file format


  • Language online changes daily
  • New tools = new terminology
  • More exciting times ahead (but YMMV)

By Lex Lucas (Online Services Manager – ACRRM)


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