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Oliver Karstel Agency / All Articles  / Guide to eLearning Jargon

Guide to eLearning Jargon

eLearning has exploded in popularity over the last few years. As organisations came to terms with the cultural changes associated with the fourth industrial revolution, the COVID pandemic and the technological advancements that followed. The necessity for quality online distance-based learning has been undeniable. As with any new field, there is a need for orientation. We all understand we need eLearning, but just what part of it are we looking for?

No need to fret, we have curated you a list of all the essential eLearning jargon to take your eLearning expertise to the next functional level. Without further ado:

eLearning, e-Learning or Elearning?


What is eLearning?

Elearning is an educational tool that facilitates learning online, often through the use of digital technologies like computers and mobile devices. With elearning, learners have the flexibility to access course materials anytime and anywhere they choose. It also offers a range of features such as interactive simulations, virtual classrooms, assessment tools and more. With its combination of convenience, cost-effectiveness and customisability, elearning has become a popular choice for teachers and students alike. Its effectiveness is further enhanced when it is integrated with other platforms, such as social media, analytics and game-based learning.


What is VLE?

A virtual learning environment (VLE) is a type of online platform that allows learners to access educational resources and participate in online activities from any internet-connected device. VLEs are designed to facilitate interactive learning, allowing learners to collaborate with instructors and peers on projects and assignments, access audio/video lectures, view course material and even take assessments. In addition, a VLE helps create personalised learning experiences for each user by offering a variety of customisations for their individual learning paths. With the help of a VLE, educators can provide engaging learning experiences through an effective blend of learning tools and resources.


UX, or user experience, refers to the overall experience a person has when interacting with a digital product or service. UX encompasses how the design of the product looks and feels, how easy it is to navigate and interact with, and how successful it is in helping people achieve their goals. UX professionals focus on designing products that are both intuitive and enjoyable for users so they can have an optimal experience when using them. Good UX is essential for any digital product or service as it can make the difference between success and failure.


What is CMS?

A content management system (CMS) is a software platform that helps users manage digital content, such as text, images, videos and audio files. CMSs allow users to easily create, edit and publish their content without needing technical or programming knowledge. It also provides tools that enable users to control who can access the content they have created. Furthermore, most CMSs provide analytics to help track user engagement with the content, allowing for an improved understanding of what works and doesn’t work. As such, CMSs are ideal for businesses looking to optimise their online presence in order to better serve their customers.


What is Gamification?

Gamification is a process of applying game-like mechanics to non-game activities to motivate, engage and learn. It involves utilising elements such as points, levels, rewards, badges and leaderboards to make tasks more enjoyable and rewarding. Gamification is becoming increasingly popular in the educational field, thanks in part to its ability to create a sense of achievement or progress while learning. It can also be used in business contexts to encourage employees or customers to take specific actions. Ultimately, gamification can help boost engagement, drive motivation and promote better results.


Stands for the Shareable Content Object Reference Model and is a set of technical standards (Format) which allows the content and user experience to interact with the online learning platform. It is the most common eLearning content format and allows for easy content to system integration.


Stands for Aviation Industry Computer-Based Training Committee and is the oldest eLearning format/standard. This format facilitates the communication between learning management systems and course content. One major benefit of AICC is that eLearning does not need to be hosted by the organisation’s LMS platform.

Adult Learning

Refers to a learning practice that focuses on creating a self-sustained learning experience that is rooted in adult motivation.

Blended Learning

What is Blended Learning?

Blended learning is an educational approach that combines online and face-to-face teaching methods. By mixing online lessons, activities, and resources with in-person instruction, blended learning provides a more personalised and interactive learning experience. Blended learning environments offer flexibility, allowing teachers to customise the curriculum to meet the needs of each student. Additionally, this format makes it easier for students to access materials from home or even on the go. This allows them to progress at their own pace and engage in meaningful conversations about their coursework in real time. All of these factors make blended learning an attractive option for educational institutions looking to provide quality education experiences for their students.

Mobile Learning (M-Learning)

Refers to online learning or training through a portable device such as smartphones or tablets. M-Learning has unique parameters that should be adhered to to ensure the content is accessible.

Micro Learning

Refers to skills development which focuses on smaller administrative tasks that aid the users general productivity


Stands for Learning Management System and refers to an online database-driven system with advanced learning functionality.

Instructional Design

Is the practice of applying learning principles and theory to digital content to enhance the students learning experience.

Social Learning

Is defined as learning through social observation and can be applied in conjunction with Gamification through an LMS to enhance student learning and motivation

Synchronous Learning

Refers to a learning environment where the students training schedule is pre-determined by the trainer/organisation.

Asynchronous Learning

Refers to a learning environment where the student is able to learn according to their own schedule.

Authoring Tool

Software used to produce digital content (eLearning) in an LMS compatible format.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

Refers to a rental/subscription model for an online system that charges the user monthly.


Stands for Application Programming Interface which is a set of protocols and standards for integrating existing platforms/systems.

Learning Outcomes

Refers to a set of topical proficiency required by the learner by the end of their learning experience.

Responsive Design

Refers to a series of design parameters that are applied to the ‘look and feel’ of an online system to ensure the design scales when accessed from different devices, such as tablets and mobile phones.


In a fast-paced technology-driven business world eLearning plays a pivotal part in practical skills development. A giant but very necessary technological disruption has changed the very culture of learning as we know it. With that in mind, we hope these definitions have helped you better traverse the wonderful world of online learning.

Contact our team for all your eLearning or LMS needs.

We are a leading video production company in Johannesburg and have one of the top learner management systems in South Africa. We specialise in Video ProductionPhotographyGraphic Design, eLearning DevelopmentWeb DesignAnimation and Creative Consultation. | info@oliverkarstel.co.za | www.oliverkarstel.co.za | IG.com/oliverkarstel

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