Glossary of Frequently Used Terms

2 x 2 Rule: Instructors must have two weeks of course materials posted online two weeks before the start date of the course so that instructional designers can review courses for Readiness.

Accessibility: The degree to which a system, object, or location is usable for all people; focuses on ensuring equal information, services, or use for people with disabilities.

ADDIE model: Refers to Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation; the model that Northeastern University Online follows in building our online courses.

Asynchronous: Occurring at different times (e.g., the discussion board is an asynchronous tool as students can post and read threads at any time).

Best practice: In online learning, utilizing strategies based on current evidence- based research for effective course design and delivery.

Best Practices Report: A report sent to instructors from the instructional design team that focuses on the quality of their course design and delivery.

Blackboard: Northeastern University’s learning management system (LMS).

Blackboard IM: Blackboard-based instant messaging tool with embedded roster, audio or video chat, and desktop sharing.

Blackboard Collaborate: Web conferencing tool that allows for voice, video, screen and application sharing, chat, and polls.

Blog: Short for “web log”; a Web site on which a person (or people) can post commentary to which others can respond.

Browser: Software application used to locate, retrieve, and view content on the Internet.

Chunking: Breaking text or content into smaller, more digestible pieces for better retention and a more easily readable format.

Course outcome: Describes what the student should be able to do by the end of the course.

Course shell: Space on Blackboard (LMS) where course materials are posted and interaction between instructor and students takes place.

Course template: The collection of folders, links, and items within the course shell that provides consistent presentation and navigation across all courses.

Collaboration tools: Software applications designed to help groups work together on projects; examples include Blackboard IM, wikis, Blackboard Collaborate.

Constructivism: Learning theory in which students take a more active role in their learning by collaborating with peers under instructor guidance and facilitation.

Discussion board forum: A sub-element of a discussion board (example, Water Cooler, Week 1 Discussion); forums are then broken into separate threads.

Discussion board thread: A sub-element of a discussion board forum; for example, a specific question on a course topic.

Face-to-face classroom: The traditional on-ground classroom setting.

Facilitation: How an instructor manages the class and interacts within the online classroom.

Formative assessment: A non-graded assessment for the purpose of measuring progress and giving feedback (e.g., journal post).

Hybrid course: A course combining on-campus and online instruction. The majority of the contact hours are conducted face-to-face. The rest of the instruction is delivered online.

Instructor Resource Center (IRC): Northeastern University Online website that provides instructional design and educational technology information for faculty teaching online and hybrid courses.

Journal: Online tool used in coursework as a method of student self-reflection.

Kaltura: Video sharing service that works directly in Blackboard and allows you to upload videos, capture your screen/lectures/instructor perspective, and record from your webcam.

Learning management system (LMS): A software program designed to include a number of integrated instructional functions, including lectures, discussions, assessments; examples of an LMS are Blackboard and Moodle.

Multimedia: A combination of two or more different communication media, such as text, graphics, audio, animation, or video.

Online course: An asynchronous, instructor-led course in which the students can complete the course work from anywhere at any time.

Online learning: Education in which instruction and content takes place over the Internet.

PDF (Portable Document Format): An electronic file format designed to be read by different operating systems.

Pedagogy: The art, science, or profession of teaching.

Performance-based learning objectives: Describe what the student will be able to do as a result of engaging in a learning activity.

Podcast: Digital audio or video file that can be downloaded and played on a computer or mp3 player.

Prompts: Suggestions on how to customize and complete a course template section.

Quality Counts: A course review by instructional designers (IDs) during the second or third week of a course that focuses on design and delivery; IDs offer feedback and recommendations.

Readiness check: A course review performed by the instructional designers (IDs) to ensure that instructors have two weeks of course materials online two weeks before the course start. (There are three Readiness checks- two weeks before the course start date, the Thursday before the course start date, and the morning of the course start date.)

Readiness report: A report the instructional design team provides to program administrators following the Readiness check.

Rubrics: Guidelines that describe specific criteria for grading academic papers, projects, or tests.

Smartpen: USB pen technology.

Streaming video: Fixed-camera lecture capture technology.

Summative assessment: A means of assessing student learning based on content standards (e.g., exams).

Synchronous: Occurring at the same time; in real-time (e.g., an online chat tool like Blackboard IM).

VoiceThread: Collaboration space to upload images, documents, or videos.

Web conferencing: Real-time communication session used to conduct live meetings, presentations, or training over the internet (e.g., Blackboard Collaborate).

Wiki: Online collaboration space which allows for creating and editing content in web page format (e.g., Wikipedia).