Glossary

Accessibility - A type of technology that allows people with disabilities, ranging from visual problems to cognitive impairments to use the Internet.


Accreditation - Certification by an external agency or professional regulatory body that an educational program meets its standards. In Canada, educational programs are accredited, institutions are not accredited.


Asynchronous Learning - When learners participate in an online learning course at different times, it is known as asynchronous learning. This might also be called eLearning or web-based training (WBT). Asynchronous learning allows learners to go through a course at their own pace and on their own schedule.

Also see Synchronous Learning


Attribution - The process of recognizing the source of borrowed materials, regardless of whether it is all rights reserved, copyright or open licensed. To create attribution under a CC license, you can use the Open Attribution Builder or CC Licence Tool.


Blended Learning - Blended learning is an instructional approach that includes a combination of online and in-person learning activities. For example, students can complete online self-paced assignments by a certain date, then meet on-site or online for additional learning activities.


Cohort - A cohort is a group of students that move together through an educational program. Cohorts allow a small number of learners, usually starting courses at the same time, to take a group of core classes over a specific duration.

However, students in a cohort may not necessarily progress through the program at the same rate or graduate at the same time. Cohorts can be very beneficial, because students can get to know each other, providing a supportive learning environment.


Copyright - “Copyright is the exclusive legal right to produce, reproduce, publish or perform an original literary, artistic, dramatic or musical work. The creator is usually the copyright owner.

However, an employer—for example, a film studio—may have copyright in works created by employees unless there is an agreement in place stating otherwise.

When you own the copyright in a work, you control how it is used to protect its value. Others who want to use the work have to buy or otherwise get your permission." (Canadian Intellectual Property Office, 2015)


Creative Commons - "A US non-profit organization. A Creative Commons license is one of several public copyright licenses that allow the distribution of copyrighted works. It can be used when authors want to give people the right to share, use, and build upon a work they have created." (UNESCO, 2013)

Creative Common Licenses - There are six Creative Commons licenses as listed in order of openness from most accommodating to least:

CC BY (Attribution): Other than crediting the source, there are no restrictions on the use and remixing of a work, even commercially.

CC BY-SA (ShareAlike): You can use or remix a work provided you release your work under the same license as the source. You must also credit the source.

CC BY-ND (No Derivatives): Material cannot be changed but can be redistributed both commercially and non-commercially. You must attribute the original source.

CC BY-NC (Non-Commercial): Material can be used and remixed but not used or distributed commercially. You must attribute the original source.

CC BY-NC-SA: You can use and remix material and use or distribute it non-commercially but you must use the same licensing terms (ShareAlike) as the original source. You must also attribute the original source.

CC BY-NC-ND: This is the most restrictive license because material cannot be altered or used commercially. You are permitted to download and share but you must credit the source.


Credit - A unit of value assigned to a course for counting its value toward a credential such as a certificate, diploma or degree. The number of credits received by students for a course varies widely among institutions.


Credit Transfer - Acceptance or recognition of credit by an institution for courses or programs completed at another institution.


Derivative Work - This term is not typically used in Canada. In the United States, the term refers to a new form of expression created from a pre-existing one - for example, a motion picture adapted from a book.


Distance Education or Distance Learning - Distance Education/Learning occurs when students and their instructors are in different geographical locations and the instruction occurs on an electronic device, such as a computer or mobile phone.

The learning can occur in a synchronous environment, in which all participants are connected at the same time or in an asynchronous environment, when participants are engaged in learning at different times.


eBook - A book that can be read in a digital format, such as a PDF, or ePub using a computer, tablet, or eBook reader.


eLearning - eLearning (short for electronic learning) is an umbrella term that refers to all types of training, education and instruction that occurs on a digital medium, such as a computer or mobile phone.


Experiential Learning - Learning that is based on students being directly involved in a learning experience rather than their being recipients of ready-made content in the form of lectures.

Experiential learning engages students in critical thinking, problem solving and decision making in contexts that are personally relevant to them.

This approach to learning also involves making opportunities for debriefing and consolidation of ideas and skills through feedback, reflection, and the application of the ideas and skills to new situations. (UNESCO, 2010)


Fair Dealing - Canadians are permitted to use limited sections of an all rights reserved copyright protected work provided the use is considered "fair."

For educational use, fair dealing typically means following a set of guidelines. As an example, many colleges and universities permit the copying of 10% of a book or a full chapter, one article from a journal and so forth.  Credit must still be accredited to the source. 


Fair Use - The US-version closely related to Canada's Fair Dealing.

In its most general sense, a fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work. Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner.


Instructional Design - Instructional design involves the identification of the knowledge, information, and skill gaps of a group of people, and creating or selecting learning experiences that close this gap. Instructional designers base their learning decisions on cognitive psychology, instructional theory and best practices.


Instructional Designer - An instructional designer practices the craft and science of instructional design. This person identifies the needs of a targeted audience and determines the best approaches for meeting the audience’s needs.

It could involve designing and writing online learning courses, as well as writing the manuals needed for Instructor-Led Training. Some instructional designers also create graphics and use authoring systems to produce online courses.


LMS - A Learning Management System (LMS) is a software application or web-based technology for managing the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, and delivery of training programs. An LMS is also used for continuing education, professional development, credentialing, online events, and eLearning programs.


Localization - The process through which educational resources are adapted to meet local teaching and learning needs. Resource localization may involve translating a lesson plan into another language, or removing parts of a course module that are too complex for a given set of students. Localization also works to make materials culturally relevant.


Mobile Learning - Learning that takes place on a hand-held device, such as a mobile phone, that can take place anytime and anywhere.


MOOCs - Massive Open Online Course - (MOOCs) are online courses aiming at large-scale participation and open access. They may use OER as content. (UNESCO, 2013)


OER - Open Educational Resources - "Open Educational Resources (OERs) are any type of educational materials that are in the public domain or introduced with an open license. The nature of these open materials means that anyone can legally and freely copy, use, adapt and re-share them. OERs range from textbooks to curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, tests, projects, audio, video and animation." (UNESCO, 2013)


Open Badge (Open Badging, Open Digital Badge) - A digital representation of a skill, learning achievement or experience. Badges can represent competencies and involvements recognized in online or offline life. Each badge is associated with an image and some metadata. The metadata describes what the badge represents and the evidence used to support it.


Open Textbook - Digitized textbooks freely available with non-restrictive licenses.


Pedagogy - The art or practice of teaching.


Public Domain - The public domain, in intellectual property (IP) law, is generally said to consist of intangible materials that are not subject to exclusive Intellectual Property rights and which are, therefore, freely available to be used or exploited by any person.


Remix - Adapting the work for your own use.


Reuse - The adaptation, remixing or modification of OER for new or local purposes.


Self-Paced Learning - Self-paced learning refers to the type of instruction that allows a person to control the flow of the courseware. It implies the learning environment is asynchronous.


Social Media Learning - Social media learning refers to the acquisition of information and skills through social technologies that allow people to collaborate, converse, provide input, create content and share it.

Examples of social media learning can occur through online social networking platforms, blogs and microblogs (like Twitter), online talk radio and wikis.


Some Rights Reserved - An item that is typically safe to use because it is released under a Creative Commons license. 


Streaming Media - Streaming media refers to video and audio that is downloaded to a computer from the Internet as a continuous stream of data, and is played as it reaches the destination computer.


Synchronous Learning - When learners participate in an online learning course at the same time but in different locations, it is known as synchronous learning. Synchronous learning allows learners to interact with the instructor and other participants. This is done through software that creates a virtual classroom. 

Also see Asynchronous Learning


TALS - An acronym for Title, Author, License, Source, the key elements needed when creating attribution for an open resource.


Transfer Credit - Academic credits earned at one institution that are acknowledged, or accepted, by another institution.


Virtual Classroom - The virtual classroom refers to a digital classroom learning environment that takes place over the Internet rather than in a physical classroom. It is implemented through software that allows an instructor and students to interact.


Virtual Reality Laboratory - Fully interactive advanced lab simulations based on mathematical algorithms that support open-ended investigations.


Webinar - A webinar is a seminar or workshop where the facilitator and participants view the same screen simultaneously. Webinars typically have an audio component the facilitator controls – there may also be functionality that allows participants to chat by entering text, answering polls, raising their hands and asking questions.