A - Z glossary of terms.

All Registered Users are welcome to provide additions to the Glossary.

The First Collection offered is an Educational Technology Glossary. This collection of terms and technologies was collated to accompany a survey into the current use of such within Irish Higher Education.


Active Learning A process whereby students are actively engaged in the learning process, rather than passively absorbing information. Active learning involves discussion, writing, reading, solving problems, analysis and evaluation.

APL Accreditation of Prior Learning.

Assessment The process of documenting, usually in measurable terms, knowledge, skills, beliefs and attitudes.

Augmented Reality Technology enhanced ‘real world’ examples. An example would be to superimpose a graphical restoration upon an image of a derelict architectural feature. See

Avatar Graphical representation of a person used in computer applications, particularly for communication. See


Blog Web log (blog): an online journal/commentary with simple automated content-creating facilities, links and response mechanisms. See for comparison of tools


Clickers A name given to the remotes used in personal response systems. See for paper

Collaborative Editing The practice of a group of individuals editing one document simultaneously or asynchronously. See an example at

Computer Assisted Assessment (CAA) CAA refers to the use of computers in assessment, used to manage or support the assessment process. Forms include: Computer Aided Assessment, Computerised Assessment and Computer Based Assessment. See an example at

Creative Commons A licensing system developed by Lawrence Lessig and others at Stanford University. Creative Commons (CC) licences allow a content creator to decide how published work may be copied, modified and distributed. UK versions of the licence are now available. See

Curriculum Plural curricula.

The set of courses and their contents offered by an institution such as a school or university. This may be partially or entirely determined by an external bod


Discussion Board An asynchronous communication tool, also known as discussion rooms, spaces and forums. See the directory of online communities at

Distance Learning A field of education focuses on delivering education to students who are not physically on site to receive their teaching

DRM Digital rights management: the protection of copyrighted digital content to prevent unauthorised viewing, copying or distribution. Visit

Digital divide

The term refers to the distinction between those who have internet access and are able to make use of new services offered on the World Wide Web, and those who are excluded from these services

Digital literacy

This term refers to the skills required to achieve digital competence, the confident and critical use of information and communication technology (ICT) for work, leisure, learning and communication.


e-moderating The skills involved in facilitating online discussions. An e-moderator guides participants through online discussions. Visit

E-portfolio An e-portfolio is a digitised collection of documents and resources that represent an individual’s achievements. The user can manage the contents and usually grant access to appropriate people. See and

Effective Module Design Principles

  • 1. Aims
  • 2. Outcomes.
  • 3. Identification of topics / content
  • 4. Sequencing content / materials / activities
  • 5. Selection of teaching methods / approaches
  • 6. Planning assessment
  • 7. Evaluation of design

Ramsden 1992; D’Andrea 1999; Turner 2002

The Erasmus programme, or European Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students, is the European Union (EU) student exchange programme for higher education.

Eurypedia - The European Encyclopedia on National Education Systems [1]


Facebook An example of a social networking site. Visit, See also for a collection of current social networking software.

Folksonomy Derived from folk + taxonomy, a Folksonomy is a way of categorising data on the web using tags generated by users. Folksonomies are used on collaborative, ‘social’ websites for photo sharing, blogs and social bookmarking.


Google Earth An interactive mapping application that allows users to navigate the globe, via satellite imagery, road networks, physical features etc. Vist

Google Jockeying Is the practice of providing a continuous feed of information to accompany a presentation, lab, tutorial or class. An individual will surf the Internet (using a search engine) to provide supplemental materials to key terms or highlight examples relevant to the work being undertaken.



IPTV Internet protocol television: television/video delivered over broadband to PCs or set-top boxes (STBs). Visit

ISCED International standard classification of education, an instrument for compiling internationally comparable education statistics.




Learning Object Bite sized digital learning resources which are relevant to a single learning objective. A discrete digital resource that can be reused to facilitate learning and is capable of being used to achieve a specified learning objective


Maillist (or Mailing List) A (usually automated) system that allows people to send e-mail to one address, whereupon their message is copied and sent to all of the other subscribers to the maillist. See

Mashups The practice of combing multiple (web) sources into one entity. See

Moblog A blog posted to the internet from a mobile device.




Podcast Podcasts are audio files that can be easily distributed via the web and downloaded to computers and personal audio players. Podcasts are often syndicated so that users can subscribe (usually for free) to a particular service and have new content automatically downloaded. Visit for a ‘how to’ guide.

PVR Personal Video Recorder, this device contains a hard drive upon which it can store programmes. Commonly the interface allows pre-programming in advance and multiple variations thereof e.g. the whole season of ‘The Sopranos’. See



Repository An online collection of materials (often RLOs) that may be accessed openly (see or by a designated community (see

RLO Abbreviation of re-usable learning objects. See ‘Learning Object’ for further explanation.

RSS Really simple syndication: a set of XML-based specifications for syndicating news and other website content and making it machine readable. Content is usually collected by RSS-aware applications called aggregators or news readers. Some web browsers now have these news readers built in. Example


Screencasting The capture and distribution of a users actions upon a computer screen. Example

Semantic Web The Semantic Web is being developed to allow devices, information services and applications to interact directly with each other dynamically over the web. Visit

Social Bookmarking The practice of collecting and displaying bookmarks on a public web site and tagging each with keywords. Examples include and or




Vlog A video blog is based on video content rather than text. See examples at

Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) “VLE’s are learning management software systems that synthesise the functionality of computer-mediated communications software and on-line methods of delivering course materials.” JTAP Report –041 A Framework for Pedagogical Evaluation of VLE’S

Virtual Worlds Is an online environment where individuals are represented by avatars. They are commonly used for gaming purposes, but new avenues are being explored and developed to aid teaching and learning in these new settings. Example:

VoIP Voice over Internet Protocol (IP) is a technology that breaks voice communications into packets that can be sent over IP networks such as local area networks (LANs) or the internet. This has advantages in terms of cost savings and increased functionality/manageability. Example


Wiki Wikis are collaborative web pages that can be viewed and modified by anyone with a web browser and internet access. Visit for a comparson of products.



YouTube A video sharing service. See


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