Glossary

This is the glossary with the educational concepts used in the context of EMPOWER.

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Accessibility  
The extent to which a(n) (online) course is designed to allow disabled students to take part in all the activities available to their non-disabled peers and achieve all the learning outcomes. This includes technical aspects such as conforming to accessibility standards, the provision of alternative formats, and processes for making reasonable adjustments to accommodate individual needs. Aim: provide equal access and equal opportunity to people with disabilities.
 
 
Accreditation
The recognition or certification of an institution that has been reviewed and meets specific measures of quality. Accreditation is the process by which one higher education institution gains authority to award, and/or gains recognition of, its qualifications from another senior competent authority. This might be the State, a government agency or another domestic or foreign higher education institution. 
 
 
Adaptive learning
The use of computers in education to adapt the presentation and structure of resources to suit each learner’s needs, using their responses to questions and tasks and other data sources.
 
Admission
The act of, or system for, allowing qualified applicants to pursue studies in higher education at a given institution and/or a given programme.
 
Compare: Open education
 
Alumnus / alumni
Graduate of the university. Increasingly offered an association to belong to for life.
 
Assessment (formative)
Assessment aimed primarily at determining the strengths and weaknesses of a student’s work, with the objective of improvement. Formative assessment demands feedback to the student in some form and may, but will not always, contribute to summative assessment.
 
Assessment (summative)
Assessment aimed at evaluating student learning at the end of an instructional unit by comparing it against some standard or benchmark.
 
See also: Rubrik
 
Assessment (New approaches to)
Different methods of assessing and evaluating learners understanding, knowledge and skills.
 
Assessment (of institutions or programmes)
The process for establishing the educational quality of a higher education institution or programme; of individual qualifications: the written appraisal or evaluation of an individual’s foreign qualifications by a competent authority; of individual students: the actual testing of a student’s ability and skills within a programme.
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Bachelor degree
First of the three cycles of the Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area.
 
See also Master, PhD
 
Badges  (Digital)
Digital badges are an assessment and credentialing mechanism that is housed and managed online. Badges are designed to make visible and validate learning in both formal and informal settings, and hold the potential to help transform where and how learning is valued. (MacArthur Foundation 2013)
 
Blended learning 
Blended learning refers to a course, or programme of study where the learner has a mixture of online instruction using different media and face to face provision.
 
Bologna declaration
The Bologna declaration (in full: Joint declaration of the European Ministers of Education convened in Bologna on 19 June 1999) is the main guiding document of the Bologna process.
 
Bologna Process
The Europe-wide process of bringing harmonisation to the very different degree structures in terms of credits per year per degree and years per degree level.
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Certification
A valued credential awarded in several fields that proves competency upon satisfactory demonstration of particular knowledge and skills.
 
Classroom Training
Any training conducted where the students and facilitator interact in a real, physical classroom. Unlike "Instructor-led Training (ILT)" which, although there is an instructor, could still take place over an Internet connection.
 
Collaborative Learning
Learning through the exchange and sharing of information and opinions among a peer group. Computers excel in mediating collaborative learning for geographically dispersed groups.
 
Collusion
A form of plagiarism where there is inappropriate collaboration between students or the knowing exchange of answers.
 
Connectivism and online pedagogies
Connectivism is a learning theory that places the network at the centre of the approach. It has been used widely in the more experimental MOOCs, often referred to as cMOOCS for connectivist.
 
Content
Information captured digitally and imparted to learners. Formats for e-learning content include text, audio, video, animations, simulation and more.

Continuous Professional Development 
Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is the means by which people at work maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge and skills and develop competences required in their professional lives. 
 
See also: Lifelong Learning
 
Copyrights
Copyright is a legal means of protecting an author's work.
 
Course design
Setting learning objectives, choosing media applications, planning evaluation and preparing instructional strategies in advance of students recruitment and development of course materials.
 
Course
A course is a unit of study. Typically a course consists of the following elements
  1. a study guide / syllabus 
  2. educational content
  3. facilitation of (academic) interaction
  4. activities/tasks, tests, including feedback
  5. assessment and exam (including recognition)
Complete study programmes are normally composed of several courses. A course could be understood to be synonymous with a module and not with a qualification.
 
See also: study guide, assessment, feedback
 
Creative commons
Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools.
 
More: http://creativecommons.org/
See also: open licensing
 
Credential 
A term sometimes used to refer to a qualification.
 
Credit
The currency providing a measure of learning outcomes achieved in a notional time at a given level.
 
Curriculum
A broad term covering both academic and subject requirements and the processes for organising and managing the teaching and learning.
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Digital libraries
Libraries that have collections with electronic materials such as e-journals, online databases, e-books. Typically used to mean a library with a substantial proportion of this type of material.
 
Digital Literacy 
Digital Literacy is about making a “confident, critical and creative use of ICT to achieve goals related to work, employability, learning, leisure, inclusion and/or participation in society”.
Ala-Mutka, K. (2012). Mapping digital competence: towards a conceptual understanding. IPTS, Seville.
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Distance Education
Education designed for delivery where students and instructors not in the same location. In distance education the learning is a result of mediated experiences that are not constrained by time and/or distance. The media support in a particularly distance course can be applied to both course material delivery and to interaction between teachers and learners, and between learners. It is formalized instructional learning where the time/geographic situation constrains learning by not affording in-person contact between student and instructor.
 
Distance learning
A mode of study that allows the learner to study most or all of a course without attendance at a campus-based institution. The distance can refer to material and/or interaction! Distance learning refers to improved capabilities in knowledge and/or behaviours as a result of mediated experiences that are constrained by time and/or distance such that the learner does not share the same situation with what is being learned (compare with definition of learning)
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EHEA
The European Higher Education Area (EHEA) was launched along with the Bologna Process' decade anniversary, in March 2010, during the Budapest-Vienna Ministerial Conference.
As the main objective of the Bologna Process since its inception in 1999, the EHEA was meant to ensure more comparable, compatible and coherent systems of higher education in Europe.
 
 
ECTS
European Credit Transfer Scheme – a transferable and transparent credit-based system for higher education courses enabling students to move universities and have past courses recognised.
 
 
E-learning
Learning facilitated through the use of information and communication technologies. There are several facets to e-learning including hardware (computers, mobile phones, digital cameras, etc.), digital resources (the Web, materials presented via Virtual Learning Environments, online libraries, etc.), software (tutorials, ‘office’ packages, etc.), and online communication tools (email, chat, forums etc.).
 
E-portfolios
An e-portfolio is a collection of (usually online) digital evidence assembled and managed by a user to display competencies, skills and task achievements, which can be presented in different formats for different audiences.
 
Evaluation
A systematic appraisal of the effectiveness of a teaching or learning component, carried out for the benefit of the teacher and institution. It should be contrasted with assessment activities, which are carried out to gauge the progress of an individual student’s learning.
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Facilitator
An instructor who assists, directs, and stimulates the learning during an online course.
 
Feedback
Advice and commentary given by a teacher on examinations, coursework, or classroom activity. This can be oral or written and helps learners to understand their progress. Can be positive or negative, is used to shape behaviours, and should closely follow an action for maximum result.
 
Flaming
In online communication (e.g. discussion forums),exchanges of increasingly angry and offensive messages, often caused by a breach of netiquette.
 
Flexibility
Provision of study such that students can choose their own time, pace and place of learning. It also describes how programmes of study may allow students to choose courses or topics of particular interest to them.
 
Flexible learning
Giving students flexible access to learning experiences in at least one of the following aspects: time, place, pace, learning style, content, assessment and pathways . 
Chen, D. (2003). Uncovering the Provisos behind Flexible Learning. Educational Technology & Society, 6(2), 25-30, (ISSN 1436-4522)
 
Flipped Learning
A teaching approach that ‘flips’ the use of the classroom. This is usually accomplished by moving direct instruction online, for example through the use of videos which students study at home, and using classroom time for interactivity, for example group work or discussion.
 
Formal learning
Planned, organised, socially accepted learning in public educational systems.
 
See also: non-formal learning, informal learning

Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area
The Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area is based on an intergovernmental agreement within the Bologna Process. It aims to organise national higher education qualifications into an overarching European-wide qualifications framework. Within this Framework, qualifications are defined according to levels of complexity and difficulty. Generic descriptors of the requisite learning outcomes at each level have been defined by expert working groups within the Bologna Process. These descriptors are broadly applicable in all national contexts.
 
More:http://ecahe.eu/w/index.php/Framework_for_Qualifications_of_the_European_Higher_Education_Area
 
Free-mover
Student who visits another university as part of their studies but do so independently and not as part of an organised programme such as Erasmus.
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Gaming (Educational gaming; serious gaming)
The use of the characteristics of computer games, including structure, reward, challenge and motivation, in education.
 
General educational objectives
Educational objectives of a programme of study which are not subject- or field-specific but of a more general nature and which usually characterise the level of study involved. At degree level, for example, these will include developing powers of independent judgement and critical reflection.
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Higher Education Institution
An establishment providing higher education and recognised  by the competent authorities as belonging to its system of higher education.
 
Higher Education
All types of courses of study, or sets of courses (programmes), training, or training for research at the post-secondary level which are recognised by the relevant authorities as belonging to its higher education system.
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ICT infrastructure
In universities this means mostly the hardware of the network, wireless network, the microcomputer labs etc. It is also the national and international network and related services that the university uses to allow Internet traffic to flow into and out of the university.
 
Immersive environments
A virtual, interactive world which users can immerse themselves within, such as a computer game or a simulator.
 
Independent learning material
Material designed for learners to study with minimal or no support from a teacher. Also known as self-study materials.
 
Individual learning 
Defined as increasing one’s capacity to take effective action to learn (and organisational learning is as such defined as increasing an organisation’s capacity to take effective action).
 
Informal learning
is never organised, has no set objective in terms of learning outcomes and is never intentional from the learner’s point of view.
 
See also:  Non-formal learning and formal learning
 
Inquiry-based learning
Involving the learner in formulating an open-ended question, which they must then develop and address through investigation.
 
Interactivity
Methods of teaching and learning that include techniques in which learners communicate with each other and with the tutor. Interaction may be synchronous (e.g. telephone) or asynchronous (e.g. e mail). It is also used to refer to the way in which learning materials themselves are designed to require the active participation of learners.
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Key skills
Those essential skills which people need in order to be effective members of a modern society and a flexible, adaptable and competitive workforce. Examples of key skills are communication, collaboration and group working, literacy, numeracy, use of information technology and knowing how to learn.
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Learning analytics
The measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimising learning and the environments in which it occurs (LAK Conference 2011)
 
Learning design
The process of planning, structuring and sequencing learning activities.
 
Learning Management System (LMS)
Software that automates the administration of  education or training. The LMS registers users, tracks courses in a catalogue, records data from learners; and provides reports to management. A LMS is typically designed to handle courses by multiple publishers and providers. It usually doesn't include its own authoring capabilities; instead, it focuses on managing courses created by a variety of other sources. In higher education contexts, these functions are often subsumed into a VLE.
 
Learning outcomes
The specific intellectual and practical skills gained and tested by the successful completion of a unit, course or whole programme of study. Statements, indicating what a learner should have achieved in respect of both knowledge and skills at the end of a given course or programme.
 
Learning platform
A system that focuses on the delivery of the content and tools needed for learning; a synonym for VLE.
 
Learning
Improved capabilities in knowledge and/or behaviour as a result of (mediated) experiences that are constrained by interactions with the situation.
 
Lifelong Learning
All learning activity undertaken throughout life, with the aim of improving knowledge, skills and competence, within a personal, civic, social and/or employment related perspective.
 
Lifelong Open Flexible Learning
All learning activity undertaken throughout life, with the aim of improving knowledge, skills and competence, within a personal, civic, social and/or employment related perspective that embraces the characteristics of open learning, distance learning, e-learning, online learning, open accessibility, multimedia support, virtual mobility, learning communities, dual mode (earn &learn) approaches, and the like.
 
Localisation
The aim of localisation is to allow students from different locations to participate on equal terms in the same course. The challenge is to create a learning environment which allows for differences and at the same time makes a coherent learning experience possible. Adapting course content to local situations.
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Master degree
Second of the three cycles of the Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area.
 
See also: Bachelor, PhD
 
Mentor
A person who acts as an adviser to a learner. The term is especially used in work-place learning environments to cover professional advice. The activity is called mentoring.
 
Mobile learning
E-learning through mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. More specifically, mobile learning activities can be designed to make use of a student’s immediate context and surroundings, for example offering information about an artist while visiting an art gallery.
 
See also: ubiquitous learning
 
Moderating
Facilitating discussions in forums and other online systems, including ensuring acceptable behaviour. Moderators have privileges that allow them to edit or delete messages that contravene a code of conduct. They may also have a role in guiding and shaping discussion, helping students to engage in useful and appropriate interactions.
 
Module
A separate and coherent block of learning, usually over a term or semester. Part of a modular programme of studies where the programme is divided into a range of similar sized segments.
 
MOOCs
“MOOCs are courses designed for large numbers of participants, that can be accessed by anyone anywhere as long as they have an internet connection, are open to everyone without entry qualifications, and offer a full/complete course experience online for free.”
 
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National Qualification Framework
A national framework of qualifications is a single description, at national level or level of an educational system, which is internationally understood. The framework describes all qualifications awarded in the system considered and relates them to each other in a coherent way. One example is that of the Republic of Ireland http://www.nqai.ie/en/
 
Netiquette
The informal rules of good behaviour online that would not be covered by a formal code of conduct. Text-only media lack clues such as expression or tone of voice used in face-to-face conversation, so greater effort should be made to keep online conversations positive and constructive.
 
Non formal learning
Collective term for all forms of learning which happen in all fields outside of formal educational systems.
 
See also:  Informal learning and formal learning
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On campus learning
On campus learning means students will be attending lectures, tutorials and other classes at the campus of the university.
 
Online
A term describing activity that requires a connection to the Internet.
 
Online education / learning
An umbrella term used to describe any education or training that occurs online. In online education the learning is a result of (online facilitated) experiences that are not constrained by time and/or distance. The label ‘online’ applies to both delivery of course material and to the interaction between teachers and learners, and between learners.
 
Open Educational Resources (OERs)
Teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. (Hewlett Foundation n.d.).
 
With the advent of open data, open publishing and other academic areas ‘opening’ up, people do seem to get the general idea of an open educational resource. 
In current discussions some other descriptions appear “openly licensed educational resources” or "Creative Commons licensed educational resources”  and  “anything that can be used for teaching and learning and has an open licence”.
 
Open licensing
Granting of copyright permissions and beyond those offered by standard copyright law. The most “open” permissions, or licensing materials may be freely accessed, reused, modified and shared by anyone.
 
See also: creative commons
 
Open university
An open university is an university that is open to people without formal academic qualifications and where teaching is at a distance using specific didactics and media. The term open university  usually refers to an university with an open-door academic policy, i.e. no entry requirements and they are ”open” to all students.
 
Open education
First and foremost, open education is about removing barriers to education. 
There are many aspects of open education that engender debate,  such as content licensing, definitions of open, incentives for participation, etc. and other aspects that are less contentious, such as the need for technology to support learning, data use to support education initiatives in the developing world, etc.
 
 
Open Educational Practices
The (re) use and production of OER in the framework of educational policies that promote innovative pedagogical models, and respect, empower and emancipate learners as co-producers on their lifelong learning process. (Texeira, 2012)
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Peer assessment / review
Assessment or review of students’ work carried out by other students.
 
Phd
Third of the three cycles of the Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area
 
See also: Bachelor, Master
 
Plagiarism
Using the ideas or writings of another as if they were one's own, (i.e. without acknowledging the original author).
 
See also: Collusion
 
Problem based learning
Focussing learning around an ‘ill-structured’ problem, i.e. one for which there is no simple solution, and encouraging students to learn through engagement with this.
 
Programme
A sequenced set of courses or modules representing a student’s total study requirement and usually leading to an award on successful completion.
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Qualification
Higher education qualification: any degree, diploma or other certificate issued by a competent authority attesting the successful completions of a higher education programme; qualification giving access to postgraduate studies: any diploma or other certificate issued by a competent authority attesting the successful completion of an education programme and given the holder of the qualification the right to be considered for admission to postgraduate courses.
 
Quality Assurance
A mechanism to assure users that the quality of what they are about to use reaches suitably high standards. In higher education this implies quality of teaching, resources, assessments etc. But also the quality of the institution.
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Recognition
A formal acknowledgement by a competent authority of the value of a foreign educational qualification with a view to access to educational and/or employment activities.
 
Recognition networks
Network of national centres providing information, advice and assessment of foreign qualifications. Created to help improve the academic recognition of international awards and facilitating the integration of national education systems.
 
 
Reliability
(of a computer system) The ability of a system to continue to perform correctly, both in routine and unusual circumstances. (of assessment) The consistency and repeatability of an assessment.
 
Repository
A digital library to store educational material (assessments, courses, learning objects, open educational resources).
 
Rubriks
A rubric is a) an evaluation tool or b) set of guidelines used to promote the consistent application of learning objectives or to measure their attainment against a consistent set of criteria.
 
Seamless learning
Learning that occurs across different locations and times, using technology and in a range of social settings.
 
Semester
A block of teaching time of around 14 – 15 weeks.
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Social inclusion
Social inclusion is the process of improving the terms for individuals and groups to take part in society. Social inclusion aims to empower poor and marginalized people to take advantage of burgeoning global opportunities. It ensures that people have a voice in decisions which affect their lives and that they enjoy equal access to markets, services and political, social and physical spaces.
 
 
Social Mobility
Social mobility is movement of individuals, families, households, over time from one class to another. Social mobility can be up or down and can occur between generations (intergenerational) or within a generation ( intragenerational).
 
 
Stakeholder
A broad term to include students, teachers, educational managers, social partners, etcetera, any of whom will have a legitimate interest in aspects of the learning provision.
 
Students as co-creators
Incorporating activities that encourage students to create and/or share artefacts that are relevant to others.
 
Study centre
Local facilities away from the main campus of an institution providing some facilities for study, such as meeting rooms for tutorials, collections of reference material, and computer access to the internet.
 
Study Guide
Framework to support a course.
 
Summative assessment
Assessment (often taking place at the end of a course or programme) leading to the attribution of a grade or a mark to the student. The results of summative assessment determine whether a student progresses to the next stage of the programme or, on completion, gains an award.
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Tertiary education Tertiary education, also known as postsecondary education, refers to any type of education pursued beyond the high school level. This includes diplomas, undergraduate and graduate certificates, and associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees.
 
Remark: the UK uses further education and US uses continuing education for vocational education and training beyond secondary education.
See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tertiary_education 
 
Transferable skills
Skills such as communication, problem-solving and teamwork that can be applied in different academic and work contexts.
 
Tutor
A teacher who provides instruction, academic advice or counsel to one or more students.
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Ubiqitous learning (or U-learning)
is equivalent to some form of simple mobile learning, e.g. that learning environments can be accessed in various contexts and situations.
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Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
A set of computerised systems or tools which allow controlled access by students to online course materials and the facilities needed to support learning. Typically, a VLE is accessed via the web and will contain tools for course/programme registration; content management, including access to external resources; student-student and student-tutor discussion; tracking student activity; secure submission of assignments; assessment; access to course/programme information; access to student support systems; etc.
 
Virtual Mobility
The use of information and communications technology as an alternative to physical mobility to allow students to study programmes from other institutions as part of an award of their home institution. The pass of the ECTS assumes the recognition of it from home university.
 
Vocational courses
Courses of study related to professional practice and labour market needs.
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Web lectures
In education, web lectures are used to capture lectures and presentations and make them available to students. Students then can view the entire lecture or parts of it again. For students with a disability, chronic illness, or of whom  the course language is not in their mother tongue, these recordings can be a great solution. Web lectures can also be used to better utilize the (limited) contact time with students (flipping the classroom).
 
Widening participation
Widening participation in higher education is a major component of Europe’s education policy: not only to increase the numbers of young people entering higher education, but also the proportion from under-represented groups (those from lower income families, people with disabilities and some ethnic minorities).
 
Workload
A quantitative measure, e.g. hours,  of the learning activities that is, on average, necessary for the completion of the course.
 
See also: ECTS
 
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