elearning If you’re new to eLearning or online training, it can seem like you’re wading through alphabet soup with all the various acronyms and terminology used in this industry. SCORM, LMS, AMS, LCMS, API, JITT, what does it all mean?! Grab a spoon, and let’s dig in to the soup, with this eLearning glossary.

eLearning-Also referred to as internet-based learning, web-based learning, and online learning is any training or education delivered via computer. For many, their first experience with eLearning was educational computer games delivered via CD Rom.

Digitec, Instructional Designer, Jennifer Ritter wrote a blog about this recently explaining, “I now realize that I was raised with game-based learning. That’s where my brain goes when I hear “eLearning,” and I have fond memories of it. If a customer service agent has had to sit through dry lecture videos that were filmed ten years ago, which are now online, that may be their image of eLearning.” Thankfully, eLearning comes in many different forms from basic PowerPoint modules to learning games and simulations and beyond, giving users many options to support their unique learning objectives.

AMS- An Association Management System or AMS is the association membership equivalent to a company’s Customer Relationship Management System (CRM). This is where an association stores data on their members and prospective members for tracking memberships, managing newsletter subscriptions, offering special gifts, sending invitations to events and workshops, and promoting discounts on products and services.

Andragogy- Periodically you’ll see this word in blogs on course creation from instructional designers debating the best practices for teaching content and encouraging retention. In short, Andragogy is another way to say adult education. This word means the methods and practice of teaching adult learners. If you’d like to learn more, check out this article from eLearning Industry.

API-Taken from Wikipedia “an application programming interface (API) is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software and applications.” In the LMS market, we are primarily concerned with xAPI or Experience API as a means of integrating systems as well as assisting those different applications with tracking and sharing data on the learning experience.

Asynchronous/ Self-Paced Learning- Asynchronous refers to eLearning offerings you take on your own. It’s just you and the content, no instructor, no classmates. Courses in an LMS usually fall into this category.

Blended LearningA blend of eLearning and face-to-face training. If you sign up for an in-person workshop but need to watch an online video that explains the basics before you attend, that’s an example of blended learning.

ILT-Instructor led training or traditional classroom training or instruction

JITT-Just in Time Training refers to delivering information or training the learner needs when and where they need it. Rather than sitting through hours of traditional classroom training, users can tap into Web-based tutorials, interactive job aids and other tools to zero in on just the information they need to solve problems, perform specific tasks or quickly update their skills.

LCMS A Learning Content Management System (LCMS) typically provides a multi-user environment where administrators, instructors, and content managers can create, store, reuse, and manage learning objects from a central object repository.

A learning object can be thought of as a small, self-contained re-usable unit of content that can be used to support learning. Some examples of learning objects include Microsoft® Word or PowerPoint files, PDF files, video, and audio.

A Learning Content Management System (LCMS) enables an organization to share learning objects across the enterprise, which saves money, promotes consistent learning, and helps to amortize the cost of eLearning.

LMS- A Learning Management System (LMS) is a software application or web-based technology for managing the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, and delivery of training programs, continuing education, professional development, credentialing, online events, and eLearning programs.

A Learning Management System (LMS) provides organizations with a centralized and consolidated method for the delivery of online training programs. Built-in assessment and reporting tools allow for automated certificate generation.

Pedagogy- The art or practice of teaching

SCORM- SCORM stands for Sharable Content Object Reference Model, and is the basic industry standard for eLearning interoperability. In other words, SCORM makes online learning content work with the Learning Management System provided both are SCORM conformant. SCORM, defines how to create SCOs (sharable content objects) or units of online training materials to be shared across systems. For example, if you create a course in Articulate Storyline, it will play in any SCORM compliant LMS. This will allow you to deliver and track the course from the program the course was created in to the Learning Management System the course will be delivered in.

Synchronous Learning- Synchronous refers to eLearning offerings where you participate as part of a group and everyone in the group needs to be logged in at the same time. Live webinars and virtual classrooms are both great examples.

Had your fill of alphabet soup? If not tell us what terms you’d like defined in the comments below.

Looking for a SCORM compliant LMS to deliver your eLearning?  Visit our LMS page.

If you’d like additional information about eLearning terms, trends, and implementation, check out our resources page.

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