Glossary

Accessibility

An eLearning training programme must be accessible to all.
To achieve this, specific changes must be made to comply with a list of international standards.
It is obviously preferable to decide on this before starting the project, but it is also possible to do so afterwards if sources are available.

Achievements

A set of skills or knowledge that a person demonstrates in a professional, social or training activity. The achievements needed for training to be followed are pre-requisites.

Educational activity

Educational activity is the basis of an eLearning lesson (as well as a classroom lesson).
It combines a training objective with a training approach, determined by factors such as the learner’s current level, workplace, profile, available time, resources at hand, tutorial system, etc.
In the case of an eLearning lesson, it involves online exercises, reading, analysis and appraisals, etc.

In each case the training activity must be centred on the learner, with the objective of skills acquisition in a way that suits the learner.

Administrator

In a learning and users management platform, named LMS (Learning Management System), the administrator is the one at the top of the hierarchy.
He names “tutors”, he can accept or deny learners, courses, he can give rights, etc.

AICC

AICC: Aviation Industry CBT Committee

AICC was the first attempt at standardisation to support interoperability between systems, applications and resources. AICC was an initiative by the US army and aerospace industry in the 1990s to manage CD-Roms in resource centres. The SCORM model was launched in early 2000 and was a development of the AICC, parts of which it covered.

AJAX

AJAX: Asynchronous JavaScript and XML

  • XML for informative data
  • XSL for the presentation of information
  • JavaScript to display and interact with information in real time.

Learners

The learner is a person who follows an e-training course.
The learner is a committed, active person in a process of acquiring or honing knowledge and its application.

Tree diagram

With eLearning, the tree diagram shows possibilities specifically chosen for a given programme.

Namely:

  • learners will not necessarily use them in the same way, depending on individual behaviour and responses,
  • it is worth avoiding dead-ends and loops,
  • whatever stages are chosen, they must be followed harmoniously,
  • certain options will be obligatory for some and closed to others.

ASP

ASP: Application Service Provider

Provision and hosting of an IT application under lease (not to be confused with Microsoft programming language).

Asynchronous

Specificity of communications or exchanges sent and received at different times (e.g. forums, e-mail, etc.).
This is opposed to synchronous.

Self-assessment

Assessment of a learner’s own progress, generally involving a questionnaire to be completed alone.

Self-training

Self-training is a method of learning that uses the learner’s independent abilities.
Learners follow their own pace with or without the use of specific resources.

Blended learning

Training scheme mixing different training activities such as eLearning content, virtual lessons, traditional classroom-based training and other educational resources.
This approach offers additional solutions, adapting to time, place and cost constraints, as well as learning preferences.

Virtual campus

A virtual campus is a website dedicated to learning, where learners can find all sorts of educational resources such as documents for downloading, online presentations, eLearning lessons, appraisals, and communication and collaboration options such as blogs and forums.

CBT

CBT: Computer Based Training

This is generally with a CD-Rom (with CBT, the computer is not in theory connected to an online resource centre, hence the use of the CD-Rom).
More and more often, learners are connected to training systems via the web so that they can take eLearning classes. The CD-ROM is therefore used less for remote learning purposes.

Resource center

There are two types of resource centre:

Physical
This is a room reserved for remote training, for learners who cannot take part at their workstation. Computers are available to connect to eLearning classes. A tutor is sometimes present to supplement remote training.

Virtual
This is an online area in which users can access tutorials, knowledge databases, forums and blogs.

House style

Set of features that define a company’s character.
The most elaborate will require the creation of an explanatory document. These guides are generally drawn up for use on paper and it is often necessary to adapt them to similar usage on the screen.

Chat

Chat involves sending real-time messages on the Internet between several connected individuals.

Target

Group of individuals with shared characteristics, allowing them to come together for greater efficiency and reach a common goal.

Virtual classroom

Technical application allowing a trainer to address a class spread over the four corners of the earth.
It’s a bit like classroom-based learning without the room!

Can be mixed with eLearning programmes that will then be discussed or developed. This leads to a blending learning approach, the classroom part of which will be followed remotely.

See Blending learning.

CMS

CMS: Content Management System

CMS aim to simplify the creation and management of online content.
They allow for cheaper, more frequent updates of resources already published.

The operating principle of CMS is the archiving and reuse of these “foundations” or basic training units.
It leads to content publication procedures that involve three stages: creation, validation, publication.
With CMS these can be organised according to the company’s own rules.

Collaboration and cooperation

“Group activities are characterised by a series of collaborative and cooperative stages.
Cooperative and collaborative learning are distinguished by four main criteria: the structuring of activities, supervision of the instructor, role of learners, and learners’ social tendencies.
Basically, collaborative learning is more informal. Cooperative learning is more methodical, with learning activity more structured.”

(Extract from the thesis of S. George – Remote Group Learning.) SPLACH: an IT environment supporting an educational programme

Communications

Communications involve creating a message, sending it and making sure it has been understood and noted.
To do this, it must be clear and free from interference (distortion, static, etc.).

Design

Design consists of gathering and incorporating information from various sources with a view to organising it and adapting it to a specific target audience.
The risk attached to this design stage is that of interpreting or copying this information incorrectly.

The next stage after design is the synopsis, which will form the basis for the following stage: the storyboard.

Training content

Content in its primary sense is all the unprocessed information delivered by the customer or an expert with a view to designing eLearning classes.

This content must be reworked to adapt it to the remote learning environment.

Training programme

This is the tree diagram of training, drawn up according to skills needing to be acquired. A test generally completes the programme, leading to a certificate or record or achievements if it is passed.

Implementation

In IT we “implement” a programme. Once this is done, each “authorised” user can use it.
With eLearning we can settle for the “IT” definition but it is also worth preparing for this implementation with awareness, information and support programmes: “trailers”, documents, meetings… anything to move the programme forwards.

Training system

Set of factors (methods, tools, procedures, routines, action principles and activities arranged for remote or classroom-based learning), the ultimate aim of which is to develop individual and group skills.

Testing system

Set of factors (methods, tools, procedures, routines, principles and activities arranged for remote or classroom-based learning), the ultimate aim of which is to measure the effectiveness of a training scheme or part thereof.

E-training or online training

Training programme accessible over the Internet or Intranet. Internet technology makes it possible to learn in a visual, interactive environment.

ELearning

This method of learning is an advanced training system. eLearning results from the combination of interactive and multimedia content, forms of distribution (PC, Internet, Intranet, Extranet), a set of software tools supporting the learner, management of online training and, potentially, applications to create interactive training. Access to resources and possibilities for collaboration and interactivity are considerably widened.

Training appraisal

Act of assessing the achievement of teaching and training objectives with the help of previously established criteria.

This appraisal can be given at different times by different parties (trainee, trainer, client company, etc.). For example, we distinguish between satisfaction surveys, the evaluation of training content, assessment of achievements and verdict on any practical application in the workplace. (AFNOR)

Formative assessment

This takes place during training and is intended to let learners know, as accurately as possible, how far they have to go in order to reach their objective and indicate difficulties that they may be encountering.
Formative assessment provides information that allows learning activities to be adapted to learners’ needs; it provides additional information deemed necessary on the basis of results obtained, as shown in the assessment.

See section on appraisals.

Pre-assessment

The pre-assessment is often necesary because of the diverse levels of knowledge between members of a same group.
Plan the same programme for everybody leads to propose a too complicated training to some, and a too boring to others.

Results of this pre-assessment will define, for each learner, the course to follow.

Test

This takes place at the end of a course and is intended to check whether learners have met their targets. It is also used to draw up an assessment (in the form of a score) of what the trainee has learned, and to communicate this externally.

See section on appraisals.

Content expert

This person is involved with design. They provide documentation and teaching material, explain the educational approach and do everything necessary to develop training resources. They guarantee the quality of these resources. If the system allows, they can also answer learners’ questions on issues that have not been explained or which are seen as obscure.

Remote learning

Remote learning:

This covers all technical aspects and organisation models aimed at providing instruction for individuals working remotely from the training service provider. This training method requires special training and lesson design techniques, as well as communication methods based on electronic or similar technology.

 This term encompasses two educational processes: remote teaching (instructor’s point of view) and remote learning (learner’s point of view).

FAQ

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions.

This file groups together the most common questions on a given topic. It is strongly recommended that you read this before asking questions on a forum.

Asynchronous training

In asynchronous training, sharing with other learners or tutors takes place using communication methods that do not require simultaneous connection. It may involve discussion forums or e-mail exchanges.

Classroom-based training

Classroom-based training.
This refers to the time when individuals following a course are gathered together in a single place with a trainer.
This corresponds to the traditional training method, using an instructive approach (information from the trainer) for a set period.

Synchronous training

We talk about synchronous training when participants connect to their training session simultaneously. They can then communicate in real time, either by web-conference or video-conferencing, or even by chat.
Synchronous training also allows for the sharing of applications, virtual chalkboards and interaction about these when the tutor hands out the shared document.

Forum

The forum is virtual; it is the place for questions, answers and discussions.
Management systems for lessons and trainees generally allow for the creation of a specific forum for each lesson, as well as a general forum that is not attached to any particular lesson.
Learners can help each other out on these forums.

Granularity

Granularity is the extent to which teaching content is broken down into a series of coherent and compatible small parts, or grains.
This grain refers to the smallest teaching unit of a training programme (in the sense of involving a target to be reached). These microscopic teaching units will be merged and re-merged over the course of the programme to meet individual training needs.

Group

Individuals working for the same company and presenting shared characteristics, placed together to be given perfectly adapted lessons. Example: newcomers, export sales staff, maintenance technicians, etc.

Hosting

Hosting is the work of the hosting provider.

This is a company with one or more powerful servers, good bandwidth, and numerous specific pieces of equipment allowing one server to instantly take over from another that has gone down, offering 24/7 surveillance, etc.
The hosting provider can look after your system, which will host your programmes itself, or it can host your programmes directly if you have no need for detailed statistics.

Educational engineering

With eLearning it is important to put learners at the centre of training objectives by asking the questions: “what is the point of this teaching activity? what ability or skill are we trying to develop among learners? what cognitive activity would we like to stimulate?” rather than “what am I going to teach them”, which very quickly becomes a case of just passing on content.

Engineering

Series of consistent methodological approaches applied to the design of training systems and programmes to reach the predetermined goal effectively.
Educational engineering can include the analysis of requests, training needs, diagnoses, training project design, resources, management and training assessment (AFNOR).

Interactivity

Ability of a programme to create a situation of sharing with a user. Depending on the type of media used, we talk of open and closed interactivity.
Possibility for the trainee to be involved in the learning process and through this bring about a change in the circumstances of this learning.

Interface

Graphical and operational item allowing users to quickly find all commands they may need to act and get around but also mark, print, flag or leave.
The interface is very important insofar as, being permanently visible, it must fit in perfectly with the programme, respect the company’s house style and help learners with all their needs.
It is generally the first part to be realized.

LCMS

LCMS: Learning Content Management System.
An LCMS is a system (generally based on Internet technologies) used to create, approve, publish, and generate learning content.

LMS and LCMS are two separate tools. The difficulty in understanding this difference often lies in the fact that LCMS include all the basic functions of an LMS.

The formula below is useful for understanding what an LCMS is: LCMS = LMS + CMS

NB: considered in many cases to be at the heart of eLearning, the LMS aims to simplify the organisation and management of training.
Content Management Systems (CMS) aim to simplify the creation and management of online content. They allow for cheaper, more frequent updates of resources already published).

LMS

LMS: Learning Management System
This describes the eLearning system. IT system designed to optimise – on the Internet or Intranet – the management of all training activities, from information on offers, registration of participants, distribution of resources, organisation of individual programmes, supervision by tutors, tutorials (integrated management of learner-trainer interaction) to the presentation of learner communities.

Depending on their design, they encourage the input of content or skills, group or individual work, skills development or the organisation of knowledge (grains).

Choosing a system adapted to the needs of educational engineering is an important stage in optimising the system to reaching objectives.

LO

LO: Learning Objects

A learning object involves a training, assessment and content objective. Metadata is attached. This data allows for the customisation of content according to different learner profiles.
An LCMS is based on the learning objects standard. The LCMS can be used to create libraries of LO – independent content units – that can be reused and grouped together in any way whatsoever according to learners’ individual needs.

Localisation

Not to be confused with translation.
Translation simply allows for the production of a programme in a language other than the original language. Localisation goes beyond this, changing certain images or content depending on the country in question.

LOM

LOM: International Learning Object Metadata standard (digital or otherwise). These objects can be books, films, teaching scenarios, websites, software, etc.

Metadata

This defines the content to which it relates: keywords and/or any other descriptive term that will be used by search engines to select relevant themed documents and not a load of unusable texts. This metadata allows searches for documentary characteristics of documents rather than plain text.

Also see LOM.

Teaching module

Elementary segment integrated or able to be integrated into a training course or programme. It is defined by a training objective, requirements, a duration, content and assessment possibilities. It is generated by combining teaching units.

Standards

ELearning standards aim to communicate lessons and exercises with training systems and similar user content management systems.

Authoring tool

The authoring tool is a software programme that allows trainers or the person responsible for designing an interactive module (not necessarily IT staff) to create teaching resources based on an educational scenario.

This programme sometimes offers the possibility of breaking resources down according to different parameters: level, profile, requirements, learning aspirations, etc. It may be used to redirect learners towards certain resource units, depending on the results of their tests.

Training programme

This refers to all training modules to be followed by a learner. It meets several criteria: the specific need for training and the level of skills held in the subject being “taught”. It allows training to be personalised.

Training portal

This type of site is used on the Internet or Intranet as an entrance to a community of users registered for a free or paying web-based training activity. To varying degrees, web-based training portals are free services offered as marketing tools.
Web users access the portal: companies and individuals will find a broad range of services, from the system to training in its entirety (teaching and technical support, skill check, assessment, themed information based on experience, etc.).

Activity directory

An activity directly is a summary of information on a professional activity or business, or an analysis of a professional situation relating to an assignment, duties, activities or even tasks of a given job.

Directory
Inventory of observable actions and performances listing a set of abilities (training directory) linked to business directories or corresponding roles (AFNOR).

SCO

SCO: Sharable Content Object

A SCORM course comprises SCO. A SCO is a unit (or grain) of content that has an educational purpose, which can be reused in another lesson, and which will be recognisable on a SCORM system.
One or more SCO can form a learning object (LO) and one or more LO can form a lesson.

SCORM

SCORM: Sharable Content Object Reference Model

Advanced Distributed Learning Consortia
Aim: develop the accessibility and compatibility of learning content according to Internet standards (HTML, XML, Javascript)

3 versions of SCORM have been published:

* SCORM 1.1 – first version, little used
* SCORM 1.2 – update to the previous version with improvements, widely adopted
* SCORM 2004 – latest versions available: 3rd edition in 2006 and 4th edition in 2009.

Benefits of SCORM 2004

* offers better sequencing than SCORM 1.2 requirements
*clarifies the notions of completion and validation
*creates the notion of target validation
*meets the need to stabilise standards (standardisation underway: ISO, IEEE, etc.).

HR-IS

HR-IS: Human Resources Information System

Set of applications dedicated to internal HR management problems relating to training, pay, recruitment, skills management, internal recruitment, etc.
The most significant publishers active in this field are SAP and Peoplesoft.

Standards

Behind the standards:

* Professional bodies e.g.: IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
* Business consortia e.g.: AICC Aviation Industry CBT Committee
* Consortia arising from national and international collaborative projects

IMS (Instructional Management Systems) by Educause
IMS draws up specifications to facilitate interoperability between online training solutions.

LOM (Learning Object Metadata) by IEEE
This specifies the syntax and semantics of educational metadata and defines the attributes necessary for a complete description of “teaching objects”.

SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) by ADL (Advanced Distributed Learning).
The aim is to develop accessibility and the compatibility of training content according to Internet standards (HTML, XML, Javascript).

Storyboard

In terms of eLearning, this is a document in which the course designer outlines the content and progression of each teaching activity screen by screen.
After being approved by the sponsor, this document will be used as a unique reference for the educational designers.

Supervising learners

Supervision consists of monitoring learners’ progress and activity in their training programme.

This supervision is based on significant information memorised during the training, depending on the programme and the frequency included in the design of teaching resources.
This information reflects learners’ working methods, difficulties encountered, achievements and periods of slacking off.

Synchronous

Methods of exchanging live information (e.g. telephone, videoconferencing, videophone, audiophone, etc.).

Synopsis

In terms of eLearning, this is a document in which the course designer outlines the content and progression of the training programme. After being approved by the sponsor, this document will be used as a unique reference for the design of the storyboard.

ICT

ICT: Information and Communication Technologies.

ICTE

ICTE: Information and Communication Technologies in Education.

Tutor

This is the person who learners contact in the event of difficulties or to have something corrected.

With remote training, tutors fullfil several roles:
*With learners, they determine an individual training programme and help start them off;
*They lead groups or communities of learners – any affinity between learners can be an educational lever and help with motivation; *They supervise the training (answering learners questions, analysing progress, offering individual advice);
*They increase the loyalty of learners and support them by providing motivation.

They can perform this duty remotely or, with certain schemes, at resource centres.
Tutors play a key role in training. The quality of supervision ensures learners are motivated and avoids them dropping out along the way.

URL

URL: Uniform Resource Locator or Universal Resource Locator

Unique name to locate a resource or document on the Internet, and which indicates the method used to do this, the name of the server and the path within the server.

Video-conferencing

Videoconferencing is an interactive tool combining audiovisual, IT and telecommunications technologies to enable individuals or groups of people at distant locations to see each other and talk to each other remotely, in real time, while transmitting not only moving images but also various types of document: texts, digital data, graphics, audiovisual and IT documents.

Videoconferencing also offers application sharing, remote control, file sharing and virtual chalkboard functions.

WBT

WBT: Web Based Training

WBT is a self-training method on computer, using a resource accessible over the Internet or the company’s Intranet site and therefore stored on a remote server.

Web Service

A web service is a computer programme allowing communications and data sharing between heterogenous applications and systems in different environments.

XLIFF

XLIFF: XML Localization Interchange File Format

Originally created by a consortium, it has become a standard for the localisation sector and its development continues through OASIS. OASIS is the main body drawing up XML standards for industry-wide application.
Its technical committee, XLIFF, includes members from leading companies in the software and translation sectors.