Useful E-Learning Terms

  • Useful E-Learning Terms
    There are many terms associated with e-learning. Here are a few you will want to know:

    Asynchronous communication
    Communication mode in which the time of actual interaction is different. The sender and receiver do not communicate at the same time. E-mail and snail-mail communication are examples of asynchronous communication.

    A web log. A blog is a shared online journal where people can post diary entries about their personal experiences, views, ideas, and hobbies.

    Software that enables users to access and display files from the World Wide Web. Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome are the most widely used browsers.

    The college’s Learning Management System (LMS) which houses the online content for courses here at BCCC.  Sometimes referred to as Instructure Canvas, because Instructure is the company that run it.

    Discussion Board
    A place on the Internet allowing for asynchronous communication, most often via text.  Canvas has a discussion board for each class.  Facebook has one under each post.

    Also electronic mail, email, or e-mail. The system whereby messages are automatically passed from one computer user to another through computer networks. You will need to have access to and know how to use email before you begin an online course at BCCC. 

    Web Browser software developed by Microsoft.  Replaced Internet Explorer.

    Google Chrome
    Web Browser software developed by Google.  We recommend this browser for using Canvas.  Click here to download it.

    Internet Explorer
    Web Browser software developed by Microsoft.  Now retired.

    Internet Service Provider, a service, for example AOL, Earthlink, or Comcast, needed by users who are going to access the Internet from home or work.

    LAN (Local Area Network)
    A computer network which spans a local area such as a campus. Computers at BCCC's Liberty, Harbor and RPC centers are connected to the Internet via a LAN.

    Maryland OnLine (MOL)
    A partnership among various Maryland four-year institutions and community colleges that promotes access to classes which are delivered asynchronously, mostly online. See for more details. 

    Multimedia refers to the presentation of information and instruction through a combination of graphics, audio, text, or video. Multimedia instruction is often interactive.

    Open Educational Resources (OERs)
    Open educational resources are materials used to build and conduct courses.  OERs are by definition “open”, meaning that they can be re-used, re-distributed, re-mixed, shared, edited, and downloaded freely, without the need for payment.  Often, these resources use an open license, such as Creative Commons. Real-time

    Any process in which there is virtually no delay between events. Asking a question during a classroom discussion is done in real-time. Responding back to an earlier email is not real-time. However, a virtual discussion group or whiteboard is synchronous and done in real-time.

    RSS Feed
    Real Simple Syndication is a subscription to an online site (such as Baltimore Sun, New York Times, or Slate Magazine) that refreshes itself automatically on the end user's site to bring current headlines.

    Social Media
    “Forms of electronic communication…through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content.”Extracted from the internet on July 9, 2019

    An adjective describing communication modes which takes place in real-time. An example of synchronous communication is the telephone, instant messaging systems, or webinars.

    Uniform Resource Locator. An address on the World Wide Web. Example: The URL for Google is

    Web Page
    A location on the World Wide Web, identified by a URL.

    Web-based Classes
    Online Classes that are delivered primarily, or completely, through the World Wide Web. Instructional tools in this format include, but are not limited to, conferencing, chat, email, uploading and downloading assignments, whiteboarding, classroom management, security, hyperlinks, video and audio clips, online testing, multimedia.

    Web-Enhanced or Web-Supported Classes
    Classes in which the World Wide Web is used as a component to assist delivery of the course; typically mixed with other delivery methods. At BCCC, many courses are web-enhanced and will have expectations of guiding learning activities through the Internet.

    A webinar is a seminar or workshop in which the facilitator and participants view the same screen at the same time. Usually the webinar has an audio component that the facilitator controls and functionality that allows participants to chat by entering text, answering polls, raising their hands and asking questions.

    A virtual tool in an online class which allows the instructor and students to diagram or draw, in real time, and the others who are online can see the design; good for math and science classes.

    "Wiki is a type of website that allows users to easily add, remove, or otherwise edit all content, very quickly and easily, sometimes without the need for registration. This ease of interaction and operation makes a wiki an effective tool for collaborative writing. The term wiki is a shortened form of wiki wiki which is from the native language of Hawaii (Hawaiian), where it is commonly used as an adjective.

    -Extracted from the Internet on April 27, 2006 - to denote something 'quick' or 'fast.'

    World Wide Web
    A distributed information retrieval system in which documents formatted in Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) are linked via Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) to other documents, as well as audio, video, and graphics files. By using a web browser and clicking on hot spots, computers are connected across the Internet

    A course offered where the materials are either low cost or, frequently, completely free.  Resources for these courses will be provided online, most often through Canvas.  Make sure that you are comfortable navigating Canvas and similar online platforms before registering for a Z-Course.