e-Learning Dictionary

Network access provider. Any organization that, being connected directly to the Internet, sells to others the possibility of accessing it.

A provider has one or more hosts connected to the Internet through dedicated lines, active 24 hours a day; such hosts can respond simultaneously to requests for access to network services to tens or hundreds of computers via modems and telephone lines.

Use of the built environment and access to communication and information. The term “access” is not only referred to the provision of a ramp for wheelchairs users, but it consists in creating an environment that everyone, regardless of their physical, psychological or sensorial conditions, can use comfortably.

The property of an environment, being this physical or symbolic (e.g. a software), which does not hinder access to the resources present in it. In particular, an accessible website is designed to be usable even by those who, having visual problems, recur to an audio browser that reads the content of the page.

Recognition of the suitability of a natural or legal person (individual, body, entity) for carrying out specific training or orientation activities. This recognition can be issued by an institutional subject (Ministry, Region, etc.) based on defined criteria, or by a potential client (public or private) towards its “supplier”.

In this sense, the term accreditation is not synonymous with ISO certification. All the educational structures, including the public ones, which intend to access public, national and European resources for the financing of training activities, have been accredited by the respective Regions, according to the methods defined by the same.

Set of characteristics that an organization (or its provision structure, depending on the chosen approach) must have in order to be able to manage specific services or parts of those services, in agreement with the public body.

Deferred information exchange, when there is no simultaneous communication. Examples of asynchronous communication tools are e-mails and newsgroups.

It may concern the use of different media in the field of elearning, of different didactic models, of synchronous and asynchronous study methods. Blended learning, however, is above all known as a method of delivering training courses that integrate elearning and classroom training, a solution that is achieving significant success in terms of effectiveness.

Learning method based on the enhancement of collaboration within a group of students. Collaborative learning, according to Anthony Kaye’s definition, occurs when there is a real interdependence between the members of the group in carrying out a task, a commitment to mutual help, a sense of responsibility towards the group and its objectives.

This learning mode is based on synchronous or asynchronous communication activities.

A system that manages the development and structuring of contents, working on a database in which texts, audio, images and videos are stored. Thanks to the ability to easily retrieve data by querying the database, the CMS is used to organize a large amount of information. The CMS can be used also as an elearning system.

He/she is a key figure in the elearning context. He/she follows and supports each student in carrying out the activities foreseen during the training course. He/she guarantees assistance and tutoring services for the students, providing qualitative and quantitative assessments of users’ interactions in the training path. He/she manages the flow of e-mails exchanged between students, teachers and tutors, and takes care of all the reports concerning the flow of contacts. He/she speaks with the users via e-mail, virtual classroom, chat and forum.

Education process in which teachers and students are in separate places and different forms of media are used to transfer contents and communications (audio, videos, texts, computer, multimedia, etc.). The DL can be synchronous or asynchronous. It may include correspondence courses, satellite TV broadcasting or elearning. It is normally referred to the highest levels of training.

Distance training that uses information technology or communication networks to deliver contents, feedbacks and logistic information to participants. Sometimes it is also defined as “networked learning”. The emphasis is on the fact that the teaching-learning activity is not bound to a particular place, given the possibility of easily distributing the teaching materials.

Teaching methodology that offers the possibility of providing educational content electronically (e-learning) via the Internet or intranet. For the user it represents a flexible learning solution, as it is highly customizable and easily accessible.

Developing an e-learning system means developing an integrated training environment using network technologies to design, distribute, select, manage and expand learning resources.

Formal certification of compliance with internationally defined standards to guarantee the quality of specific products and processes. This voluntary certification is issued to the applicant body by an accredited certification body, based on the actual possession of the requirements foreseen by the standards defined by the ISO (International Standards Organization) and adopted by the CEN (European Committee for Standardization) UNI (Italian National Unification Body).

Software platform that allows you to manage, in an integrated and efficient way, the two variables of a training process: people and contents.

The LCMS are systems capable of creating, publishing and managing training contents, of combining the administrative and management dimensions of a traditional LMS (planning of training curricula, enrolment processes, registration and authorization of students, tracking of users’ activities) with customized contents authoring and reassembly of a CMS.

Set of administrative functions of an elearning software infrastructure that allow you to manage activities such as preparation of courses and curricula, creation of teaching catalogues and calendars, students’ enrolment, study monitoring, measurement and evaluation of results, certification process.

It is a system that manages both physical and virtual classrooms and the inventory of different teaching materials.

A good LMS therefore includes all the functions of the different figures that operate in the training environment: students, administrators, teachers, tutors, and it can constitute an important core of the ERP system for training.

Reference model for the creation of learning objects within distance learning courses. The model was generated in 1997 within the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) project of the United States Department of Defense. The aim of the project is to guarantee the reusability, durability and interoperability of the contents, through the optimization of the accesses and of their management.

Exchange of information in real time. Examples of synchronous communication tools are chat, videoconferences and virtual classrooms.

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