Glossary of important terms and concepts

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Open Educational Resources (OERs)

Learning materials that are freely available in the public domain and are specifically licensed for reuse without cost.



Interaction between people of equal status, for example between fellow participants on a training course rather than between the trainer and trainees.


Descriptions of learners that outline their key characteristics and circumstances as presented to or as perceived by others. Intended to help make the learners more real and memorable for the trainers and designers of the training.



A recording available online that shows a computer screen with some sort of onscreen activity, usually with a voiceover.

synchronous learning/training/session

Where the trainer or teacher is present at the same time as the learner(s). This is almost always the case in a face-to-face environment but can also take place online through the use of video conferencing and live chat or instant messaging. As with the face-to-face environment, the learners in synchronous online learning can ask questions in real time.


video conferencing

Technology that enables online meetings, training events, presentations and webinars. With audio and video facilities, video conferencing allows communication by voice, vision and text messaging involving anything from two to many people. May include additional features such as screen sharing, breakout rooms and interactive whiteboard.



A seminar, presentation, lecture or workshop that is transmitted over the internet (web). Webinars are live online teaching or training sessions that participants all attend at the same time. They can be recorded and replayed later.

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