There are a lot of industry terms in the eLearning sphere, which can make choosing the right training system confusing for those who have not navigated the space before. That’s why Knowledge Anywhere has created this no-nonsense eLearning definitions dictionary, for you to reference when you need it. 

Adaptive eLearning: A type of eLearning with the learner’s flexibility as its focal point. Here, all learning materials are designed to fit your learning preferences. This pays attention to aspects such as skills, abilities, and individual performance. Using such factors to tailor your learning needs means that you can switch things up whenever you feel like you are lagging behind, or change based on your course completion goals. Adaptive eLearning works well where learners prefer to study at their own pace. You, however, need to be highly disciplined to stick to your pace in adaptive eLearning. To read about the pros and cons of this type of training, read A Guide to The Different Types of eLearning

Asynchronous Learning: When presentations are pre-recorded and digital materials are delivered via email, discussion boards, social networking, and collaborative documents. Commonly used delivery methods include recorded audio, video presentations, and discussion tools. This type of eLearning offers greater flexibility for learners. 

Certification: A digital proof of completion for an online course. Certifications in eLearning can be highly customized with client colors, logos, and text and can be given to Learners for earning skills, completing courses, or passing exams. 

CEUs: Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are a nationally recognized standard for documenting the completion of non-credit programs and courses intended to improve the knowledge and skills of working adults. 

Elective Course: A course that a Learner has access to within a training system and is optional to complete. 

Extended Enterprise: A term for when eLearning is extended past internal employees to business partners or customers. 

Fixed eLearning: Refers to a learning process that uses a traditional structure of passing down information to students. All learners receive the same type of information as determined by the instructors. Since the learning materials rely on the instructors, fixed eLearning is rigid and does not adapt to the students’ preferences. Such a type is best suited to environments where learners have similar schedules and skills. Traditional grade school classes in need of eLearning can, for instance, adapt this type of structure. To read about the pros and cons of this type of training, read A Guide to The Different Types of eLearning

Instructor-Led Training (ILT): True to the name, ILT is when an instructor teaches a live course in front of students. This can happen face-to-face or online, although the latter may be referred to as Virtual Instructor-Led Training (ILT). Examples of ILT are webinars, lectures, and workshops. 

Just in Time Training: The concept of supporting employees by providing avenues for immediate learning, allowing them to acquire the knowledge they need when they need to know it. To learn more about just-in-time training, read Just-In-Time Training: How to Implement It Into Your eLearning Program.

Learning Management System (LMS): An online software program that provides a vehicle for the exchange of training or learning curriculum. Its seamless delivery of online training allows organizations across all industries to deploy virtual training to end-users (employees, suppliers, customers, partners, etc.), manage training materials, track, and evaluate results aimed to improve end-user performance. To learn more about LMSs, read What is an LMS? 

Learning Record Store (LRS): A storage system that functions as a depository for learning records collected from connected systems where eLearning is conducted. An LRS is the focal point of your eLearning ecosystem and brings together data from your learning systems and applications. It is responsible for receiving, storing, and providing access to all eLearning records. The LRS is uniquely designed to help systems store and retrieve xAPI statements and other forms of xAPI metadata from other systems. To learn more about just-in-time training, read Learning Record Store (LRS) Guide: Basics You Need to Know. 

Learning in the Flow of Work: When learners are able to extract the information they need, when they need it, without having to interrupt their process. Ideally, this would mean learners could be on the job, learn a skill they need, use that skill quickly, and then move on to their work as before. This involves microlearning, which allows learning in multiple, short forms, improving memory and employee engagement. Instead of formally training workers for hours in a lecture hall, learning in the flow of work uses design and strategy to meet learners where they are in a digital platform. By feeding employees information naturally throughout the workday when they need it or have time, this process has the potential to increase efficiency, and cut down on time, while shrinking the skills gap. See real-world examples of learning in the flow of work here. 

Learning Experience Platform (LXP): Manages online learning experiences for employees, primarily at large corporations, and can provide learning resources that encourage employees to invest in the learning culture of the business. An LXP is ideal for online learning environments designed to facilitate employee choice, collaboration, and promotions within your organization. To learn more, read Learning Experience Platforms (LXP) vs. Learning Management Systems (LMS). 

Learning Paths: A selection of courses within an online training system, organized by Administrators in a way that forms a route for learners to take on particular subjects. For example, when first starting a new job, a worker may be assigned multiple courses under an “Onboarding” Learning Path. 

Microlearning: The practice of providing instruction in smaller, manageable portions as opposed to longer lessons. It’s a format particularly well-suited for employees that telecommute and matches today’s fast-paced world where people are extremely busy and have short attention spans. To learn more, read How Microlearning Benefits Your Online Employee Training

mLearning: This term stands for Mobile Learning, and refers to when Learners take courses from phones or tablets. Since many professionals are mobile, it’s important that any training platform’s design can be adapted to multiple screens and devices. 

Massive Open Online Course (MOOC): A course offered online with no class size limit or prerequisites. This type of course, allows flexible, global learning, without strict rules or penalties for uncompleted courses. 

Off The Shelf Courses: Off-the-shelf refers to content that is pre-made by professionals, which organizations can pay for and receive immediately. Think of it as your online bookshop or library, where you can search amongst the courses to find the topic you want to take home before purchasing it. To learn more about Off The Shelf Content, download a free eBook about it here

Required Course: A course that is assigned from an Administrator to a Learner that is mandatory to complete. 

SCORM: SCORM stands for “Shareable Content Object Reference Model.” It is technically not a single set of standards; SCORM is a collection of standards and specifications for eLearning technology and serves as a guideline or reference point for how developers can successfully use different standards in combination with one another. Moreover, SCORM defines both communication methods between client-side content and the LMS’ host system, as well as how content is packaged into ZIP files known as “Package Interchange Formats.” To learn more about SCORM, read What Is SCORM and Why Is It Important? 

Single Sign On (SSO, aka SAML): An authentication method that allows learners to securely access multiple applications—such as your LMS—from multiple devices—such as your laptop, tablet, or mobile phone—using a single set of credentials—such as your email address and password. To learn more about SSO and how it relates to LMSs, check out Knowledge Anywhere’s Help Desk articles on that subject here

Synchronous Learning: When training occurs at specific times for the group to participate in, led by a professional online instructor. This type of eLearning offers instantaneous feedback, real-time questions, and classroom collaboration. To learn more about these two types of training, read Asynchronous or Synchronous: A Guide To eLearning Approaches. 

Tactic Knowledge: A type of knowledge or skillset one acquires by lived experiences, also referred to as “know-how.” Often times, this knowledge or skillset is picked up without actively trying, and its origins can be difficult to place. 

Talent Management: Talent Management is the combined organizational effort to attract, develop, and retain employees. Effective talent management solutions are manifested in an organization’s ability to obtain and retain a range of individuals with different abilities and skill sets that are paramount to the innovation, development, promotion, and sale of an organization’s products or services to the market. When an organization is successful at managing its talent, the organization often meets the strategic goals and objectives essential to achieving a competitive advantage. To learn more about Talent Management, read What is Talent Management? 

xAPI: xAPI allows for deeper tracking of learning. This application is able to track the information learners seek whether that be through the eLearning content provided by a company or outside information on the internet. xAPI also makes it easy for learning and development teams to see self-directed learning in action. The “x” in xAPI stands for experience and represents this software’s ability to capture learning experiences. “API” is short for application programming interface which indicates that xAPI will seamlessly integrate with your learning management system. To learn more about xAPI, read What is XAPI And How Should You Use It?

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