To use this sharing feature on social networks you must accept cookies from the 'Marketing' category
Create PDF

The eLearning Glossary - Part III

eLearning is a constantly evolving field. The same applies to the terms used in the field of distance learning.

After the glossary of eLearning - part I (2018) and the glossary of eLearning - part II (2020), here we are with the third appointment, divided into two parts. 

A lot has changed in these 2 years and there is no shortage of innovations in the field of distance learning. Let's get straight into the terminology with the first part.

1. Adaptive Learning Systems (Intelligent Tutoring Systems / ITS)

Adaptive Learning Systems collect data on the learner's activities and use it to create a learning path centred on the individual's needs. Using algorithms, for example, the system will deliver image-based content to a learner with a visual memory and interactive content to a learner with a communicative learning style, or advanced content for learners who are experts in the subject matter.


The ADDIE model is a framework used by eLearning professionals for instructional design. It comprises five phases:

  • Analysis: identify learner characteristics, learning objectives, delivery options, timing and pedagogical underpinnings.
  • Design: outline the project design strategy, create storyboards, design the learning experience, develop a prototype and apply visual design.
  • Development: compile content resources, integrate technology, troubleshoot and revise content.
  • Implementation: establish a training process for instructors and learners to ensure that all necessary technology is functional.
  • Evaluation: conduct a formative evaluation.

3. System administrator

Person in the company (or external consultant) for the learning management system (LMS). Provides technical assistance to users of the LMS. In general, administers the LMS in the round, delivering training to trainees via the LMS, importing and managing master data...

4. Assessment software

Online solutions used to systematically assess the skill or knowledge level of a learner, in a development-oriented logic. 

5. Audio conferencing

This is a purely voice connection between three or more locations via a computer using VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) or telephone. Audio conferencing can be a way of facilitating group conversations, guided by a tutor, complementing other forms of e-learning.

6. Cognitive load / cognitive overload

The cognitive load is the amount of mental effort used by the memory to process information. In eLearning, it is important to bear in mind that effective instructional design can be used to reduce the cognitive load on learners.
Cognitive overload is, on the other hand, a situation that occurs when a trainer provides too much information to learners, making it difficult for them to process it and generating stress and anxiety, which causes a negative learning experience. The solution is often microlearning.

7. Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting consists of hosting digital resources or applications on multiple servers, often in multiple data centres. This can reduce the risk of downtime due to the possible failure of a single machine and can ensure the speed of resource distribution regardless of location, scaling as needed without the potential limitation of a single machine.

8. CMI-5

A new advanced elearning standard using the Tin Can or xAPI standard, itself based on SCORM. Still a work in progress. 

9. Conversational Learning (Conversational Interfaces)

Conversational learning interfaces use the concepts of social learning to create an interactive learning experience. The chatbot guides the user through the learning material with a conversation made up of questions and answers between user and bot.

10. Custom content (bespoke content)

Customised e-learning content is developed specifically for the needs of the individual customer in order to best meet his training needs.

The alternative is catalogue content ('off the shelf'), which generally has a lower cost and is used to provide fast, compliance-based training. This may be fine for tick-box training in areas such as Occupational Health and Safety.

However, if you want to use e-learning to engage participants more on adhoc company issues, customised content will be more effective.

11. Compliance training 

Training that educates employees on company regulations, laws and policies. The objective of compliance training is generally to:

  • Prevent employees from committing violations that could have legal consequences.
  • Provide a defence in case an employee violates guidelines (having received the training).
  • Create a positive and comfortable work culture for all employees.

Examples of compliance training are discrimination and harassment in the workplace, privacy, anti-corruption, etc.

12. Course builder 

Platform or function of an LMS used to create online courses. Allows resources such as presentations, documents, video, audio and SCORM packages to be combined to produce course content; it may also allow new eLearning content to be created and quizzes, tests and other assessment tools to be added. Once the content is produced, the course builder is used to organise the content into learning activities and structure the activities in an online course.

13. Digitisation and Digital Transformation

Digitisation can be understood as the simple transfer of resources from analogue to digital. In the context of learning, it often involves taking paper-based training materials or classroom lectures and creating online learning media, often hosted in an LMS.

Digitalisation is also the tactical use of digital tools to improve business processes. For example, this could be the analysis of employee or team data within a performance management system (or even just a spreadsheet), in order to identify skills gaps or improve training materials. Digitalisation can go so far as to change a business model, for example a physical goods shop switching to e-commerce or a training company switching to selling courses online.

Digital transformation occurs as a strategic change orchestrated from the highest level of management. It is a series of long-term, highly coordinated digitisation projects that can overlap and interact with each other. Digital transformation leads to a powerful modernisation of an organisation and enables new efficiencies, the adoption of cutting-edge technologies and literally changes the organisational culture.

14. Extended Enterprise

An 'extended enterprise' is defined as a company that needs to train all stakeholders, e.g. franchisees, external service providers, intermediaries, its supply chain, etc. Such training can be addressed strategically and efficiently by creating learning portals, customised for each type of audience, integrated into its LMS.

15. Flipped classroom

The flipped classroom is an educational practice in which students receive most of their information in a self-directed format, such as digital courses. This takes place before face-to-face time with a lecturer, e.g. at home. The face-to-face time is devoted to problem-solving and answering questions.

16. JITT

JITT stands for Just-In-Time Training and refers to a type of training in which employees receive critical information when and where they need it. Compared to a standard online training course, JITT training resources are short (microlearning), convenient and highly targeted to the specific needs of employees. These resources are easily accessible, applicable and available when needed.

17. Learning Analytics

Quantitative analysis to profile a learner and their interactions in an online training programme. When training is delivered through eLearning software, learning analytics can be displayed in a dedicated dashboard and/or in downloadable reports. Examples of learning analysis are course completion rates and quiz scores.

18. Learning Content Management System (LCMS)

Software used to create, manage and distribute learning content (usually via the web). Although the content creation and management component of the LCMS is the main element that differentiates it from a learning management system (LMS), many modern LMS also offer these functionalities.

19. LMS Integration

An LMS integration allows organisations to link systems together and flow data between an LMS and other systems. LMS integrations can be used to embed content in other systems, allow learners to log in using credentials from other systems or receive LMS notifications in other systems. 

20. LXP / LEP

While the LMS tends to be corporate-centred, as a place to manage training essential for onboarding, compliance and so on, the Learning Experience Platform (LXP) or Learning Engagement Platform (LEP) is learner-centred: a place where employees should want to go to learn on their own initiative, because the environment is enjoyable and enriching. Content can be selected from a variety of external sources based on potential employee interests, in addition to internal training needs. 

According to some, LXP / LEP is a kind of Netflix for learning content, with key attributes such as an elegant user interface, simple search functionality and content recommendations based on user preferences and behaviour (JITT, mobile learning). 

The dividing line between LMS and LXP/LEP is likely to blur in the coming years, given the demands for an all-in-one solution.

Want to know more? In the next article, we will look at other key elearning terms. 

Translated with

Did you like this article? Sign up for the newsletter and receive weekly news!

Subscribe to Newsletter


No comments are in yet. You be the first to comment on this article!

Post a comment

E-Mail (only for alert)
Insert your comment: