Manitoba

Education and Training

Distance Learning


WBC E-Learning Glossary

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Applet
A small program, that runs on the Internet or from a software on your computer. Most are written in the programming language known as Java.

Asynchronous
A mode of online delivery where participants access course materials on their schedule. Learners are not together at the same time.

Bandwidth
The amount of data that can be carried per unit of time. Low bandwidth in certain areas restricts the amount of multimedia content that is practical.

Blackboard
A web-based learning management system and platform designed for teachers and learners to participate in online classes.

Blended Learning
An online course that uses various methods of delivery. For example, using WBC with a F2F class is blended learning. Using an asynchronous mode of delivery with synchronous tools is also another example.

Blog
Shortened from "web log". A website where participants are free to comment about various topics. In many blog sites, participants can also add pictures and video.

Bricks and mortar schools
Traditional school buildings for F2F classes.

Browser
A program that allows you to read web pages and html files. Examples of browsers include Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Netscape, and Opera. Not all browsers are validated to work in Blackboard LMS.

CD or CD-ROM
Compact disc. High capacity optical storage medium which is 120 millimetres in diameter. Most music is stored on CD discs.

Chat
Synchronous online communication where participants communicate via text entered at the keyboard.

Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC)
Forms of on-line communications involving computers and computer networks.

Congregated classrooms
Electronically combining small numbers of students at different sites.

Cookie
A small file placed on a user's computer by visiting a web page. Blackboard LMS needs cookies to be enabled in order to store the relevant data as the student progresses through their WBC.

Discussion groups
One-to-many communication in which messages are posted by individuals and can be read by all.

Distance learning
Learning taking place where students and instructor are separated by distance or time; also known as online or E-learning.

Distributed learning
Students take courses from a variety of sources and delivery modes to customize a program of study. Often is used synonomously with online learning.

DVD
Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc. An optical disc with the same dimensions of a CD but holds six times more data. Most movies are stored on DVD discs.

Electronic distribution
Distribution of documents in some electronic medium (e.g., web page, CD-ROM).

E-Learning
A wide set of applications and processes, including web-based training, online learning, virtual classrooms, digital collaboration, and computer-based training.

E-mail
One-to-one messaging or "private" communication.

Face-to-Face (F2F)
Students and teachers are in the same location at the same time. Regular classroom instruction/learning.

FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions. In an online course, it is a document or web page made up of questions that are commonly asked by students. Answers are usually provided to support participants.

Hyper Text Markup Language
HTML system of tags interpreted by the browser to render web pages. Most all web pages in the WWW are html files.

Independent Study Option (ISO)
Print-based course materials for distance learning.

Instructional Television (ITV)
One-way television broadcasting to students at other locations.

Interactive Instructional Television (IITV)
Instructional television where a two way link allows communication between instructor and remote sites as well as communication between student locations. Generally includes 4 or 5 televisions and several cameras at each site.

Internet Service Provider or ISP
Agency that provides connections to the Internet.

Java
A programming language invented by Sun Microsystems that helps supports many applications over the internet and on your computers. Blackboard uses Java in order to function.

Learning objects
Course materials developed according to a standard (e.g., IMS) which allows easy sharing of materials. Materials are modular and can be used for a variety of purposes and outputs.

LMS
Learning Management System. A set of software and online tools to manage learning environments. Blackboard, formerly known as WebCT, is such an example.

LOR
Learning Object Repository. A shared space where several learning objects are available to professionals and learners.

MP3
Audio files that have been digitally formatted.

MPEG
Video files that have been digitally formatted.

Online
Connected to a computer network, usually over the internet. Can be taken to mean "through the computer" as in on-line help for an application where help files are on the hard drive.

Online community
Learners, who although separated by distance and time, share a common experience.

Online conferencing
Communications happening over the internet or local network. Can be synchronous via chat or asynchronous via discussion groups.

PDF
Refers to the Adobe Acrobat file format used by many web sites and online courses.

Pedagogy
The art and science of how students learn.

Plugin
A small piece of software that supports a web browser in order to extend its functionality. Flash players are an example.

Server
A networked computer that is shared by many other computers on the internet. An example of a server would be to hold, or "host", web pages.

Software
Programs that allow a user to complete tasks with computers, such as word processing and editing pictures.

Synchronous
A mode of WBC delivery where all participants are "present" at the same time. Requires a timetable to be organized.

Teacher Mediated Option (TMO)
A mode of delivering a course using primarily the phone and a telconferencing bridge.

Tutorial
A method of learning from reading online content and following a specific series of mini-lessons. A tutorial may check for self-understanding by providing some interactivity.

URL or Uniform Resource Locator
Another name for the address for a web page on the internet. For example, http://bblearn.merlin.mb.ca is the URL for the Blackboard Learning System.

Virtual School
An environment where courses are delivered entirely or primarily through online methods. The term is usually reserved for accredited schools that teach a full-time set of courses.

Web-based Course (WBC)
Distance education course materials supported by computer-mediated communications and delivered asynchronously via the internet. In Manitoba, WBC are facilitated by qualified teacher staffed at one of the school divisions.

WebCT
An older Learning Management System that was bought by Blackboard Inc.  As of July 2012, Manitoba Education has replaced WebCT with the Blackboard Learn System.

XML
Extensible Markup Language, may be the next big thing on the Web. A metalanguage that is platform and operating system independent. It can be used to enable interoperability between systems as well as transformations to allow output in multiple media.

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