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A person with a disability is provided an equal opportunity to acquire information, receive a service, and participate in a learning experience with ease of use and independence.


The evaluation of the learning that has taken place against a set of achievement criteria. Assessments can take different forms, such as formative "ongoing" feedback and summative exams or coursework.

  • Formative assessment is aimed primarily at determining the strengths and weaknesses of a student’s work, with the objective of improvement. Formative assessment demands feedback to the student in some form and may, but will not always, contribute to summative assessment.
Formative assessments are those which are primarily designed to help students learn. This type of assessment enables them to assess their progress, providing an opportunity to give and receive constructive feedback.
  • Summative assessment is aimed at evaluating student learning at the end of an instructional unit by comparing it against some standard or benchmark.
  • Peer assessment/review is an assessment/review of students’ work carried out by other students.
  • Self-assessment is an evaluation of one's own abilities.

Assessment tools

Tools within an LMS (learning management system) that manage the authoring, delivery and marking of assessments tasks, such as assignments, tests, assignments, and surveys.

Assignment activity (Moodle)

Assignments allow students to submit work to their teacher for grading. The work may be text typed online or uploaded files of any type the teacher's device can read. Grading may be by simple percentages or custom scales, or more complex rubrics may be used. Students may submit as individuals or in groups.

Asynchronous - Asynchronous learning

Not occurring at the same time; for example, a discussion in an online forum may not result in participants engaging at the same time as each other. Asynchronous learning is a general term used to describe forms of education, instruction, and learning that do not occur in the same place or at the same time.

The term is most commonly applied to various forms of digital and online learning in which students learn from instruction—such as pre-recorded video lessons or game-based learning tasks that students complete on their own—that is not being delivered in person or in real time. Yet asynchronous learning may also encompass a wide variety of instructional interactions, including email exchanges between instructors, online discussion boards, and course-management systems that organize instructional materials and correspondence, among many other possible variations (The Glossary of Education Reform, 2014).


Blended Learning (Hybrid Learning)

The definition of blended learning is a formal education program in which a student learns: (1) at least in part through online learning, with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace; (2) at least in part in a supervised brick-and-mortar (physical) location away from home; (3) and the modalities along each student’s learning path within a course or subject are connected to provide an integrated learning experience (Staker & Horn, 2012).

In summary, blended learning is a method of teaching and learning that integrates face-to-face and online delivery methods. The blend may comprise different proportions of each method depending on context.


‘Blog’ is an abbreviated version of ‘weblog’, a term used to describe websites that maintain an ongoing chronicle of information. A blog features diary-type commentary and links to articles on other websites, usually presented as a list of entries in reverse chronological order (the most recent posts appear first).

Browser / Web-Based

Computer tools and applications which run on a web browser via the internet without accessing the operating system of any individual computer. These applications are accessed through web pages.


Collaborative Learning

Learning through the exchange and sharing of information and opinions among a peer group.


A unit of study, typically with a workload of more than 25–30 hours, that includes:

  1. a study guide/syllabus with instructions on how to learn from the presented materials and interactions;
  2. educational content, which may include video, audio, text, games (including simulations), social media and animation;
  3. possibilities for interaction, such as social media channels, forums, blogs or RSS readers to build a learning community;
  4. activities/tasks/assignments, tests and feedback, which can be automatically generated (e.g., quizzes), as well as peer feedback and/or general feedback from academic staff;
  5. exams, including some kind of recognition option, i.e., an acknowledgment of achievements, such as course completion, by a competent authority.

Course Design

Setting learning objectives, choosing media applications, planning evaluation and preparing instructional strategies in advance of students recruitment and development of course materials.

Creative Commons licensing

A licensing scheme which provides a way to share and reuse copyright resources under flexible, legal terms. Creative Commons licenses are increasingly applied to teaching resources that are typically made available using the internet.


Digital Education

An umbrella term for any education that is conducted at least partly in, with or through digital technologies. This includes the use of technology in traditional classrooms, blended learning and education that takes place entirely online.

Distance education

Education designed for delivery where students and instructors are not in the same location.  Learning and teaching that is provided remotely. This often makes use of technology and / or the internet and online resources.

Distance learning

A mode of study that allows the learner to study most or all of a course without attendance at a campus-based institution. The distance can refer to material and/or interaction. Distance learning refers to improved capabilities in knowledge and/or behaviors as a result of mediated experiences that are constrained by time and/or distance such that the learner does not share the same situation with what is being learned.


The inclusion of individuals representing more than one national origin, color, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, age, abilities/disabilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies, etc., as well as international and first-generation students. The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect, understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences.



Learning facilitated through the use of information and communication technologies. There are several facets to e-learning including hardware (computers, mobile phones, digital cameras, etc.), digital resources (the Web, materials presented via Virtual Learning Environments, online libraries, etc.), software (tutorials, ‘office’ packages, etc.), and online communication tools (email, chat, forums etc.).


An e-portfolio is a collection of (usually online) digital evidence assembled and managed by a user to display competencies, skills, personal reflections, and task achievements, which can be presented in different formats for different audiences.


Equity in education means that personal or social circumstances such as gender, ethnic origin, or family background, are not obstacles to achieving educational potential (definition of fairness) and that all individuals reach at least a basic minimum level of skills (definition of inclusion) (Equity and Quality in Education, 2016)


The act of systematically determining the importance, effectiveness, or value of something.



Shorthand for face-to-face teaching. This refers to traditional classrooms where students and tutors are all in the same physical space together for a certain number of contact hours each week. The lines between online, hybrid, and f2f teaching have blurred with the advent of the adaptive, socially distanced classroom. F2f remains a useful shorthand for the concept of physical proximity during learning activities.

Face-to-face learning

Learning and teaching that takes place in person (i.e., in the same location) and in real-time (i.e., at the same time). Also referred to as ‘in-person’ learning.


Advice and commentary given by a tutor on examinations, coursework, or classroom activity. This can be oral or written and helps learners to understand their progress. Feedback can be positive or negative, is used to shape behaviors, and should closely follow an action for maximum result.

Flipped learning

A teaching approach that ‘flips’ the use of the classroom. This is usually accomplished by moving direct instruction online, for example through the use of videos which students study at home, and using classroom time for interactivity, for example group work or discussion.

Forum activity (Moodle)

The Forum activity allows students and teachers to exchange ideas by posting comments as part of a 'thread' or “discussion topic". Files such as images and media may be included in forum posts. The teacher can choose to grade and/or rate forum posts and it is also possible to give students permission to rate each other’s posts.



An abbreviation for HyperText Markup Language, the main language used for Web pages. Users can enter HTML in many text boxes in the LMSs, but actually don't need to know HTML itself, as there is usually a WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) editor that can help.

HTML editor

An editing text box that is available for many of the LMS tools, in order to easily create HTML (usually written messages or labels including text, images, links, etc.).


Instructional design (ID)

The instructional design process consists of determining the needs of the learners, defining the end goals and objectives of instruction, designing, and planning assessment tasks, and designing teaching and learning activities to ensure the quality of instruction.


Methods of teaching and learning that include techniques in which learners communicate with each other and with the tutor. Interaction may be synchronous (e.g. telephone, online meeting, multimedia content) or asynchronous (e.g. forum, e-mail, deferred feedback). It is also used to refer to the way in which learning materials themselves are designed to require the active participation of learners.


Learning analytics

The measurement, collection, analysis, and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimizing learning and the environments in which it occurs.

Learning design

The process of planning, structuring and sequencing learning activities.

Learning management system (LMS)

A software application used to plan, implement, and access learning content. An LMS can register users, track courses in a catalogue, record data from learners, and provide reports to management. An LMS generally includes software for creating and editing course content, communication tools, assessment tools, and other features for managing the course.

Learning outcomes

The specific intellectual and practical skills gained and tested by the successful completion of a unit, course, or whole programme of study. They take the form of statements which indicate what a learner should have achieved in respect of both knowledge and skills at the end of a given course or programme.

Learning to learn

The ability to pursue and organize one’s own learning, either individually or in groups, in accordance with one’s own needs, and awareness of methods and opportunities.

Lifelong learning

All learning activity undertaken throughout a person's lifetime, with the aim of improving knowledge, skills, and competence, within a personal, civic, social and/or employment related perspective.


Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)

An online course designed for large numbers of participants that can be accessed by anyone anywhere as long as they have an Internet connection, are open to everyone without entry qualifications and offer a full/complete course experience online, for free.

Mobile learning

E-learning through mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. More specifically, mobile learning activities can be designed to make use of a student’s immediate context and surroundings, for example offering information about an artist while visiting an art gallery.


Facilitating discussions in forums and other online systems, including ensuring acceptable behavior. Moderators have privileges that allow them to edit or delete messages that contravene a code of conduct. They may also have a role in guiding and shaping discussion, helping students to engage in useful and appropriate interactions.


A separate and coherent block of learning. Part of a modular programme of studies where the programme is divided into a range of similar sized segments.


Moodle is an Open-Source Course Management System (CMS), also known as a Learning Management System (LMS) or a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It has become very popular among educators around the world as a tool for creating online dynamic web sites for their students. It is also being used as the basis for one of the customisable learning environments.


Anything which incorporates more than one type of media, e.g., combination of text, audio, images, animations, video, and interactive content. For example, multimedia can be anything from a simple PowerPoint slideshow to a complex interactive simulation.



The informal rules of good behavior online that would not be covered by a formal code of conduct. Text-only media lack clues such as expression or tone of voice used in face-to-face conversation, so greater effort should be made to keep online conversations positive and constructive.


Online course

A course that is available to learners online. For example, a course where most or all of the content is delivered online (>80% of content is delivered online); or all course activity is done online - there are no required face-to-face sessions within the course and no requirements for on-campus activity.

Online education - learning

An umbrella term used to describe any education or training that occurs via the internet. In online education, learning is a result of online-facilitated experiences that are not constrained by time and/or distance. The label “online” applies to both the delivery of course material and the teacher-learner and learner-learner interactions.

Open Educational Resources (OERs)

Teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and repurposing by others.



Originally a digital audio file made available online for download to computer or mobile device. Now the term can include video, e-books, and radio broadcasts as well as audio. The video podcasts are sometimes called vodcasts/vidcasts.


Quality Assurance

The maintenance of a desired level of quality in a service or product. In education this implies the inclusion of the quality of teaching, resources, assessments, etc., as well as the quality of the institution.

Quiz activity (Moodle)

The Quiz is a very powerful activity that can meet many teaching needs, from simple, multiple-choice knowledge tests to complex, self-assessment tasks with detailed feedback. Questions are created and stored separately in a Question bank and can be reused in different quizzes. They can be graded automatically by the platform, or they may require grading of the answers to some questions by a tutor (for example, short essay questions or open-ended questions).


Responsive Design

An approach to website design that automatically scales webpage content and elements to match the screen size on which it is viewed. It keeps images from being larger than the screen width and prevents visitors on mobile devices from needing to do extra work to read the content.


A rubric is a) an evaluation tool or b) set of guidelines used to promote the consistent application of learning objectives or to measure their attainment against a consistent set of criteria. For each criteria, various levels of performance or achievement are described, usually presented as a grid or matrix.



Scenarios are relatively abstract descriptions of a learning and teaching experience describing the interactions of the learners and teachers with each other, tools and resources, the learning context and environment, etc. They are intended to include innovation in technology supported learning and teaching, in one form or other.

Screen reader

Screen readers are audio interfaces. Rather than displaying web content visually for users in a "window" or screen on the monitor, screen readers convert text into synthesized speech so that users can listen to the content (Designing for Screen Reader Compatibility, 2016).


A form of instruction that proceeds based on the learner's response; for example, a self-paced course enables a learner to start and finish as quickly or as slowly as they like.

Social inclusion

The process of improving the terms for individuals and groups to take part in society. Social inclusion aims to empower poor and marginalized people to take advantage of burgeoning global opportunities. It ensures that people have a voice in decisions which affect their lives and that they enjoy equal access to markets, services, and political, social, and physical spaces.


This is a software that takes audio content and transcribes it into written words in a word processor or other display destination. This software reduces the amount of manual typing required when managing material. It is also helpful for individuals who struggle with fine motor tasks, such as using pencils, pens, and keyboards.

Study guide - Syllabus

Framework to support a course, presented as a document. It usually includes the purpose of the course, target audience, objectives, course structure and contents, duration, assessment strategies, etc.

Summative assessment

Assessment (often taking place at the end of a course or programme) leading to the attribution of a grade or a mark to the student. The results of summative assessment determine whether a student progresses to the next stage of the programme or, on completion, gains an award. Summative assessments are primarily designed to sum up what students have achieved after a period of time. Summative assessments include standardized tests delivered by examination, final projects, assignments, portfolios, etc.

Survey activity (Moodle)

The Survey activity offers a number of verified survey instruments and question types, useful in assessing and stimulating learning in online environments. Teachers can use these to gather data from their students that will help them learn about their class and reflect on their own teaching.


Existing or occurring at the same time.

Synchronous Learning

A general term used to describe forms of education, instruction, and learning that occur at the same time, but not in the same place. The term is most commonly applied to various forms of televisual, digital, and online learning in which students learn from instructors, colleagues, or peers in real time, but not in person. It is most commonly used in the context of online or digital learning. Participants interact at the same time. For example, educational videoconferences, interactive webinars, workshops, chat-based online discussions, and lectures that are broadcast at the same time as they are delivered, would all be considered forms of synchronous learning (adapted from: The Glossary of Education Reform, 2014).



This software permits students to have text read aloud. This is a useful tool for those students who are auditory learners, students that struggle with reading comprehension and for students who want to hear their own writing for editing, review, and improvement. It is also a useful tool for individuals who are physically unable to read and still need to gain access to written information or have a visual impairment. This software permits students to turn written information into audiobook form.


A teacher who provides instruction, academic advice, or counsel to one or more students. The role of an online tutor involves assisting, directing, and stimulating the learning during an online course.


Universal Design (UD)

Universal design is a design concept that recognizes, respects, values and attempts to accommodate the broadest possible spectrum of human ability in the design of all products, environments, and information systems. It requires sensitivity to and knowledge about people of all ages and abilities. Sometimes referred to as "lifespan design" or "transgenerational design," universal design encompasses and goes beyond the accessible, adaptable, and barrier-free design concepts of the past. It helps eliminate the need for special features and spaces, which for some people, are often stigmatizing, embarrassing, different looking and usually more expensive (Duncan, 2014).

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

The term “Universal design for learning” means a scientifically valid framework for guiding educational practice that: (A) provides flexibility in the ways information is presented, in the ways students respond or demonstrate knowledge and skills, and in the ways students are engaged; and (B) reduces barriers in instruction, provides appropriate accommodations, supports, and challenges, and maintains high achievement expectations for all students (About Universal Design for Learning, 2015).


Virtual Classroom

An online teaching and learning environment in which students and educators can communicate, interact, and engage with learning resources in real-time. Different virtual classroom providers or LMSs/VLEs offer different tools in the classroom.

Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)

A system for delivering learning materials to learners via the web. The main components of a VLE system include curriculum mapping (breaking curriculum into sections that can be assigned and assessed), student tracking, online support for both teachers and students, electronic communication (e-mail, threaded discussions, chat), and links to external curriculum resources.


Web 2.0

A term given to describe a second generation of the World Wide Web that is focused on the ability for people to collaborate and share information online. Web 2.0 basically refers to the transition from static Web pages to a more dynamic Web that is more organized and is based on serving Web applications to users. Other improved functionality of Web 2.0 includes open communication with an emphasis on Web-based communities of users, and more open sharing of information. (Definition adapted from Webopedia)


Short for web-based seminar, a presentation, lecture, workshop, or seminar that is transmitted over the Web. A key feature of a webinar is its interactive elements - the ability to give, receive and discuss information (definition adapted from Webopedia). A webinar is a seminar or workshop which is held online using video conferencing software. Webinars are often held in virtual classrooms but can also be held using other video conferencing tools. Presenters and attendees at a webinar will join online, synchronously from wherever they are. Webinars are usually interactive, not just a lecture with Q&A. The different tools provided by virtual classroom software enables student engagement in webinars e.g., by text chat, answering polls, engaging in activities, asking questions, or discussion and activities in breakout rooms.


A collaborative website comprising the collective work of many authors. A wiki allows groups of individuals to collaboratively edit, delete or modify content that has been placed on the Web site, including the work of previous authors. (Definition adapted from Webopedia)


An acronym for What You See Is What You Get, usually referring to a text editor where formatting changes are instantly visible. In most LMSs, many tools provide a WYSIWYG html editor, in order to easily create html code, and which automatically builds the source code.

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