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Glossary of eLearning Terms

Asynchronous and Synchronous Learning: 
Asynchronous typically means that a student will engage with the online course without having live interactions with a teacher in the form of ‘live instruction’.  Most asynchronous learning experiences are self-paced, however the student/user is able to communicate with a teacher via chat or email 

Synchronous learning experiences allow the student or user to participate in a live learning experience that is lead by a teacher or facilitator.  The student may have the ability to engage directly (in-real time) with their peers, teacher or facilitator through a microphone or via text chat while lesson is happening.

Authoring Tool: 
Online courses which are hosted on a Learning Management system are very often created using “Course Authoring Tools”, software.  The completed files from authoring software can uploaded to a SCORM conformant Learning Management System (I.e. Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle, Desire2Learn) 

Blended Learning: 
Leveraging an online learning environment to expand upon and enhance an on-site classroom learning experience. 

Content Management System (CMS): 
Typically a web-based application used to build a website, manage content and measure analytics within a common interface. Wordpress is a CMS.

Competency-based Learning: 
Experiences where the learning is designed for the student/user to develop specific skills and competencies rather than abstract knowledge.

Flipped Learning: 
Similar to Blended Learning, students/users are exposed to learning material at home through their online course, then apply that learning in their on-site classroom 

Game-based Learning: 
Presenting learning content through an applied experience where students/users situate themselves in contexts to interact with concepts. 

A type of learning that leverages game elements such as badges, levels, achievements, points etc. to increase students’ engagement in the learning process.

Instructional Design: 
A position/person who participates in creating your online course, and a practice of analyzing, designing and developing instructional materials and transferring them into an online curriculum.  

Learning Path: 
Steps a student needs to complete to pass the course and earn a certificate or demonstration of completion.

LMS (Learning Management System): 
Software used in creating, managing and delivering eLearning content as well as communicating with students and tracking their performance.  Examples of LMS’: Moodle, Canvas, Desire2Learn, Blackboard, etc.

LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability): 
The means by which LMS vendors allow integration of their platforms with third-party services to enrich the user’s experience and to enable greater functionality. It is a framework within which an LMS sends information about a learner to a third-party tool or software, enabling data exchange and a seamless user experience.

Scenario-based Learning: 
Employing a narrative to create a learning experience to develop and apply skills in a variety of contexts.

SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model): 
SCORM compatible content is created with authoring tools and can be reused and transferred to a new LMS with no need to spend money and efforts on the remaking of content.  

Student-Centered Approach to ELearning: 
Methods of teaching in which a student is put at the very centre of the learning process. A teacher adjusts a curriculum, materials delivery and class activities to the student’s skills and the level of knowledge. The student-centered classroom allows students not to just pass, but to learn in a deep and fundamentally appropriate way.  

 Tin Can (also called Experience API or xAPI): 
The next generation of SCORM eLearning standard allowing tracking learning activities happening outside the LMS (like attending conferences, writing blogs, social communication etc.)


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