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eLearning glossary

eLearning is an innovative sector by its very nature: it is constantly evolving, as are the terms that are used within it. Here is a small glossary with some of the most recurring terms of eLearning.

  • VR (Virtual Reality): virtual reality is the computer-generated simulation of an image or a three-dimensional environment that can be experienced in a seemingly real or physical way by a person who uses special electronic equipment, such as Google Cardboard, Oculus Rift, or numerous other VR headsets. Today, it is possible to create forms of virtual reality using Android or iPhone mobile devices, widely distributed on the market. Thanks to VR, it is possible to create truly engaging experiences for learners.
  • AR (Augmented Reality): augmented reality is the integration of digital information with the real environment in which the user finds himself. Unlike virtual reality, which creates a totally artificial environment, augmented reality uses the existing environment and superimposes new information about it. An example? Google Glass.
  • IoT (Internet of Things): the Internet of things (IoT) is the interconnection of physical devices, vehicles (also called "connected devices" and "smart devices"), buildings and other elements incorporated with electronics, software, sensors, network connectivity that allow these objects to collect and exchange data. A concrete example? Home automation, or the application of technology to domestic spaces, which aims to create "smart homes" (for example, an intelligent electrical system can self-regulate the lighting of appliances not to exceed the threshold that would trigger the counter).
  • IoE (Internet of Everything): Internet of Everything (IoE) is a concept that extends the Internet of Things (IoT) emphasis on machine-to-machine communications to describe a more complex system that also includes people and processes. The concept of Internet of Everything was born of Cisco, which defines IoE as "the intelligent connection of people, processes, data and things". The IoE concept encompasses machine-to-machine communications, machine-to-people and technologies assisted interactions between people.
  • Machine learning: machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence (AI) that gives computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed. In eLearning, this refers to a program that self-adjusts to the student based on algorithms. If the questions of a course are easily solved, the most difficult questions will be asked. On the contrary, if the questions are not resolved satisfactorily, simpler questions will be asked.
  • Micro-learning: microlearning is a way of distributing content to students in short but very specific "pills". Microlearning aims to provide people with the precise information they need, when they need it. The duration is shorter than a traditional eLearning course and students have full control over what and when they are learning, providing just-in-time training.
  • Mobile First: the mobile-first approach is one of the best strategies to create a responsive or adaptive design (which adapts to the screens of all devices, including desktops, smartphones and tablets, offering easy navigation and reading thanks to a minimum resizing).
  • xAPI (Experience API): xAPI is an eLearning software standard that allows learning systems to "communicate" in order to track training progress, taking into account and recording all types of training experiences (online and offline). Thus, it makes it possible to store data concerning learners (classroom activities, use of performance support tools, online community participation, mentoring, performance evaluation and actual business results) and share them among various eLearning platforms to get a complete picture of the learning of an individual and his influence on his performance.

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