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What is eLearning

Say that again?

There are so many new buzzwords and acronyms flying around in this field of learning and tech that elearning will soon need its own dictionary. So, we have created an intro to some of the most used terms, which you can drop in to conversations and sound like you know what you’re talking about!

24/7 Access
One of the key benefits of e-learning is the power to make the learning experience available anytime and anywhere. This is great for global organisations, remote staff and for training outside of a 9-5.

The 70-20-10 model for learning and development is a commonly used formula within the training profession to describe the optimal sources of learning by successful managers. It proposes that individuals obtain 70 percent of their knowledge from job-related experiences, 20 percent from interactions with others or social learning, and 10 percent from formal training.

Exactly what it says on the tin. This is a panoramic image or video that the learner can explore by clicking and dragging to view the scene as though they were the photographer looking left, right, up, down and zooming in and out. Check out how we created a 360 view of a car for Kia here.

Ensures learning technology or learning content is easy to use by people with different abilities and disabilities.

Active learning
A type of learning where the individual actively gets involved in the learning. Active learning can be facilitated through practical activities and problem-solving tasks.

ADDIE (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation)
A cute name for a dog but also a systematic process used by instructional designers to develop learning resources. ADDIE is used widely for the development of digital learning materials.

Application Programming Interface. An interface for letting a program communicate with another program. A bit like making sure a plug can go in to the right socket. We design all of our solutions with an API to connect to the apps you already use.

Articulate Storyline
An eLearning authoring tool for designing multimedia rich and highly interactive digital learning courses. A fave of our content team! Check out the team here.

Articulate Rise
An eLearning authoring tool for designing device independent and mobile first digital learning courses.

Asynchronous learning
Learning that is not time dependent. It offers great flexibility, allowing the student to complete the course at their own pace and at a time that is convenient for them. This freedom to learn without the time constraints of the traditional classroom environment is one of the key eLearning benefits.

Authoring tool
Software that enables the creation of digital learning content and courses quickly without needing design experience. Check out the DBLX authoring tool here.

Bespoke content
Our speciality bespoke content is developed to order – solely for the needs of the purchaser. Unlike off-the-shelf content, bespoke eLearning often takes into account not only the subject matter of the content, but the unique working practices and branding of the organisation.

Bitesize learning
Studies have shown that focusing training delivery on a single, very specific outcome – bitesize learning – results in greater knowledge retention than trying to cover multiple topics across a theme. Unlike Micro learning, which is more about the mode of delivery, bitesize learning is all about the content and desired outcome. There is no set definition of bitesize learning ideal length, but focused chunks of up to 20 minutes are often recommended for optimal, actionable knowledge acquisition.

Blended learning
A combination of different learning methodologies, typically a blend (or mix) of face-to-face training and digital learning, like the perfect raspberry ripple. The benefits of eLearning are numerous, with cost saving, convenience, accessibility, multimedia engagement and trackability just a few of them. However, the traditional, face to face training environment still has its place for practical skills development.

Branching or ‘branched’ navigation
Refers to the structure of a course or piece of learning content where the path through the content that the learner takes depends on decisions they have made. This is often used to develop scenario-based learning.

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)
Okay so we all know what BYO is. In learning it allows individuals to use their own device (e.g. smartphone, tablet) to complete the training session or event, I mean this is 2020 after all?

Critical thinking
Rational, unbiased evaluation of facts in order to form a judgement.

CPD (Continuing Professional Development)
Learning activities that professionals undertake to stay up-to-date with developments in their area of work to further their personal development. 

Software or other materials designed for use in an education or training course.

Distance learning
Distance learning is when student and teacher/ instructor are in different locations. Distance learning has been around since long before the Internet, iPads and Social Media. I guess now you could say it’s the new ‘norm’.

eLearning (e-learning/ online learning/ digital learning)
Short for ‘electronic learning’. The delivery of learning and training accessed via a digital device. eLearning can take many forms including the use of video, audio, interactive learning content and many other digital resources.

eLearning standards
These are principles which eLearning systems and content can adhere to for the greater good. All of ours does, we’ve got your back.  SCORM is an example of a standard which guarantees (in theory) that the solution will work with your LMS. These industry standards are designed with the goal of increasing transparency, enabling easier collaboration, and reducing vendor lock in so you can easily switch. 

ePortfolio (electronic portfolio/ digital portfolio)
A collection of evidence related to learning that is stored online. They can include various forms of media such as text, electronic files, videos, music and blog entries.

Face-to-face training
Refers to the delivery of training in person. A DBLX system will allow your learners to access digital learning as well as booking face-to-face training.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
A list of common questions asked around a particular topic. FAQs can be compiled and provided as a learning resource to help learners with areas where others often had difficulty.

Guidance given to a learner as they complete a course that is based on an action they have taken. Feedback can help them understand their progress.

Flipped learning
Commonly known as the Flipped Classroom in the field of education, flipped learning switches the lecture/ instructional element of learning away from the face to face environment to the learner’s own time, allowing them to take in information at their own pace.

Incorporating typical elements of game playing into a course design. Gamification can be used to boost learner motivation in online courses. This will include an end goal or series of goals, usually with milestones that offer rewards and positive feedback for achievement along the way.

ILT to eLearning
Sometimes, you’ll want to create new eLearning content from scratch. However, you’ll often find that your existing instructor-led training (ILT) is shown to deliver great results, and you just want to take what is working well and make it accessible to remote workers. 

Immersive learning
This sort of eLearning places individuals in a virtual interactive learning environment, so as to replicate possible scenarios or/and to teach particular skills or techniques. Simulations, role play, virtual learning environments and virtual reality (VR) can be considered immersive. Check out our virtual learning environments we created for some of our clients here.

Informal learning
This is education/ training that happens outside of a structured instructional environment. Much learning happens through the natural absorption of knowledge from one’s surrounding. 

Instructional design
Starts with the training needs and goals of an organisation and an understanding of the knowledge and skills gaps that learners need to work on. Instructional design bridges those gaps though the development of training experiences and is based on sound psychology, learning delivery best practices and use of the latest technology to deliver an effective, engaging experience.

Interactive learning
Aside from some rather whizzy concepts bearing this name – this is pretty straightforward. Interactive eLearning places an emphasis on user interactions throughout the exercises to enhance engagement and immersion in the subject. This sort of training can also demand decision making, branching and role-based thinking and forms the bedrock of the scenario-based approach to training.

Learning and Development (L&D)
The team within an organisation that focuses on improving the knowledge, skills and performance of individuals.

Learning analytics
The collection, measurement, analysis and reporting of information about a learner and their interaction with learning materials. Used for purposes of understanding and optimising learning resources. Check out DBLX advance analytics features and dashboards here!

Learning needs analysis
A process to identify the needs of the learner and identify the gap between their current skills and the required level of competency required to do their job effectively. The analysis stage defines the required learning outcomes for the training intervention and informs how the content will be delivered. It also details how the key stakeholders will be able to measure the learning outcomes have been achieved.

Learning outcomes (learning objectives)
These outline what the learner is expected to have achieved or be able to do on completion of the course or training intervention. We can help you develop these for each course. 

Learning Management System (LMS)
An acronym for Learning Management System. An LMS is software that manages the administration of training. Typically includes functionality that manages the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, and delivery of courses, training, or learning and development programmes.

The Learning Experience Platform (LXP) or Learning Engagement Platform (LEP). While an LMS tends to be employer-centric as a place to manage essential training for onboarding, compliance etc, the LXP is learner-centric – a place where employees should want to go and learn of their own accord, because the environment is enjoyable and enriching. We like to think we have a perfect balance of both, and our clients think so too! 

Micro learning
Micro learning involves learning in small bite sized units. Typically, short activities that are usually skill-based and available at the time when the learner needs the information.

Mobile learning (m-learning)
Learning delivered on a mobile device. All DBLX platforms and content are designed for access from any device and mobile responsive. 

Off-the-shelf content
Often called ‘Generic’ or ‘Ready-to-Go’. Off the Shelf content has been developed to be useful for a relatively large user base across multiple organisations. The opposite is bespoke content that’s made to order for a specific organisation. Off-the-shelf eLearning covers a certain area of knowledge or skill that could be relevant to multiple customers.

Online learning
Frequently used synonymously with eLearning and meaning the same as web-based training, online learning describes education or training where materials are distributed, and communication takes place, over the Internet.

Off-the-shelf eLearning courses
A set of modules or courses which are pre-built and available for purchase. They offer immediate rollout by organisations not bespoke to the brand, learning environment or organisation. 

Passive learning
A process where the learner receives information from an instructor and is expected to internalise it without feedback. Generally considered less effective than active learning.

SaaS (Software as a Service)
A software distribution model where software is hosted by a third-party provider and is licensed to customers on a subscription basis.

SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model)
A collection of standards and specifications for web-based electronic educational technology. It defines communications between course content and the learning technology, commonly a learning management system. SCORM enables the tracking and reporting of learner activity within an eLearning course. We’ve got your back, we are SCORM compliant. 

Artificial, immersive, computer-generated content where learners can practice a procedure or routine in a safe environment to learn skills before transferring those skills back to their jobs. A key goal of the simulation is to make the user interactions as realistic as possible given the limitations of the device the eLearning will be running on.

Social learning
Social learning has been ever-present through human history in the form of copying others and sharing knowledge through any form of communication. Today however, social learning generally refers to knowledge sharing and the debate of training through online discussion boards or social media networks.

SME (Subject Matter Expert)
Contributes the knowledge and information required for a particular learning activity. In eLearning design, they usually collaborate with the instructional designer and part of their role is to ensure the content is accurate. We will work closely with you to develop effective learning experiences. 

We love a storyboard! It’s a document typically developed by the instructional designer that contains all the information required to build an eLearning course. An eLearning storyboard will contain all learning content, instructions for the eLearning developer to build the course, instructions for the learner on how to complete activities, feedback to guide the learner and the assessment questions required to measure achievement of the learning outcomes.

Synchronous eLearning
Involves online learning in real-time e.g. video conferencing. Allows for instant learner-facilitator communication as well as interaction with other learners. Whether in a face to face classroom environment or online in a live lecture or webinar, synchronous learning involves instructors and learners communicating at the same time. 

VR (virtual reality)
The use of computer technology to create a simulated environment that can be similar to or completely different from the real world. Learners wear a VR headset to experience educational visualisations to help understand complex concepts, theories, and subjects. Other, distinct types of VR style technology include augmented reality and mixed reality.

xAPI (Experience Application Programming Interface / Tin Can)
A learning technology standard that enables the collection of data about the wide range of learning experiences a person has, both online and offline. This API captures data in a consistent format about a person or group’s activities and logs it in a Learning Record Store.

If you are not technical this acronym can crop up in eLearning and be rather bewildering, but we include it because it is genuinely a good thing. No, it’s not a programming language. It is a format for documents which means they can be understood by a human or a machine. This means the documents are inherently open and can be edited by anyone or anything. For eLearning, if your content is based on XML then you are not tied to your vendors to maintain it. We use XML for Systems Simulation.

That’s a wrap. If you made it this far, well done, that was intense! If there’s anything that you would like to chat about, give us a call and we will be happy to help, over a coffee of course.

If there is anything you think is missing please get in touch. We love learning as much as you!