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Online learning: the common terms

The boom and bust of new technologies nowadays, plus the lingering Covid-19 pandemic have pushed online learning to a new high with increasing demands. Like it or not, we may find it necessary for ourselves to get familiar with online learning. First things first, let’s start with the terms.

1. E-learning:

the learning and teaching activity that engage the use of electronic technologies

2. Distance education or distance learning:

the learning and teaching process for learners that do not attend classes in person. As a standard, educational institutions that offer this learning mode will deploy a learning management system to keep track of their students’ progress as well as to deliver lessons to them from afar (for the case of e-learning lessons) or to communicate with the students (for blended courses that offer both online classes and classroom-based classes).

3. Learning Management System (LMS):

an application, either self-hosted or cloud-based, dedicated for record keeping, and delivering e-learning lessons to learners through the Internet. It also keeps track of learners’ progress through its reporting features.

4. MOOC (Massive Open Online Course):

a learning course delivered online free of charge. The first MOOCs were initiated by world’s prestigious universities such as MIT, Harvard, etc. as not-for-profit projects.

5. Instructional designer:

as defined by the University of British Columbia, “an instructional designer is a professional that has specialized skills in converting face-to-face course content and programs to online courses and programs. They have learned the pedagogy, methodology and principles necessary for Distance Education.”

"Online learning is not the next big thing, it is the now big thing."

Donna Abernathy

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