The ELT Jargon Buster is a dynamic glossary, new terms will be added as and when necessary. All definitions, unless otherwise stated have been snipped from Wikipedia.

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Asyncronous online learning
A student-centered teaching method that uses online learning resources to facilitate information sharing outside the constraints of time and place among a network of people.


Blended learning

Education that combines face-to-face classroom methods with computer-mediated activities

A blog is a discussion or informational site published on the internet and consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) to which other viewers of the blog can comment.


Computer supported collaborative learning (CSOL)
A pedagogical approach wherein learning takes place via social interaction using a computer or through the Internet.

Creative Commons
Creative Commons (CC) is devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share by providing an alternative to the automatic “all rights reserved” copyright. Creative Commons licenses when applied to content allow the creators of the content to communicate which rights they reserve, and which rights they waive for the benefit of recipients or other creators.


Digital literacy
The ability to effectively and critically navigate, evaluate and create information using a range of digital technologies.

Digital native
This often debated term refers to a person who was born during or after the general introduction of digital technologies and through interacting with digital technology from an early age, has a supposed greater understanding of its concepts.

Distance learning (or education)
Is a mode of delivering education and instruction, often on an individual basis, to students who are not physically present in a traditional setting such as a classroom.





Hyperlink (or link)
A reference link to data that the reader can directly follow, or that is followed automatically. A hyperlink points to a whole document or to a specific element within a document.

Text displayed on a computer display or other electronic device with references (hyperlinks) to other text that the reader can immediately access, usually by a mouse click, keypress sequence or by touching the screen.


Integrated learning system (ILS)

Integrated learning systems are hardware/software solutions designed to deliver instructional content. As opposed to static online help or even animated tutorials, integrated learning systems are highly interactive and are designed to provide feedback as to progress and grasp of the subject matter at hand.




Learning object
“[A] collection of content items, practice items, and assessment items that are combined based on a single learning objective”


M-Learning (or Mobile learning)
Learning with portable technologies including but not limited to handheld computers, MP3 players, notebooks, mobile phones and tablets. M-learning focuses on the mobility of the learner, interacting with portable technologies, and learning that reflects a focus on how society and its institutions can accommodate and support an increasingly mobile population.



OER (Open Educational Resources)
Freely accessible, openly formatted and openly licensed documents and media that are useful for teaching, learning, education, assessment and research purposes.


A podcast is a type of digital media consisting of an episodic series of content that is subscribed to and downloaded through web syndication or streamed online to a computer or mobile device.

Public domain
Works in the public domain are those whose intellectual property rights have expired, been forfeited, or are inapplicable. In informal usage, the public domain consists of works that are publicly available; while according to the formal definition it consists of works that are unavailable for private ownership or are available for public use.




Streaming media (streaming audio or video)

Multimedia that is constantly received by and presented to an end-user while being delivered by a provider. Its verb form, “to stream”, refers to the process of delivering media in this manner; the term refers to the delivery method of the medium rather than the medium itself.



A uniform resource locator, abbreviated URL, also known as web address, is a specific character string that constitutes a reference to a resource. In most web browsers, the URL of a web page is displayed on top inside an address bar. An example of a typical URL would be


Virtual Community
A social network of individuals who interact through specific social media (usually in an online environment), potentially crossing geographical and political boundaries in order to pursue mutual interests or goals.

Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
An education system based on the Web that models conventional real-world education by providing equivalent virtual access to classes, class content, tests, homework, grades, assessments, and other external resources such as academic or other links. It is also a social space where students and teachers can interact through threaded discussions or chat. It typically uses Web 2.0 tools for 2-way interaction, and includes a content management system.


Web 2.0
Describes web sites that use technology beyond the static (read-only) pages of earlier web sites. A Web 2.0 site may allow users to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue as creators of user-generated content in a virtual community, in contrast to websites where people are limited to the passive viewing of content. It is now more commonly referred to as ‘social media’.

Web Browser

Application software or program designed to enable users to access, retrieve and view documents and other resources on the internet. Popular browsers: Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari.

The term “webinar” is a portmanteau of web and seminar, meaning a presentation, lecture, or workshop that is transmitted over the Web. These sessions can be interactive for the participants, allowing for communication via text chat and/or audio, and for the sharing of files, slides and other digital content. They can also include a video feed of the particpants – similar to Skype.




ZIP files (file compression)
A file format used for data compression and archiving. A .zip file usually contains one or more files that have been compressed, to reduce the overall file size, and thus make tranmission of the data between computers (e.g. over the internet) faster.