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Distance Learning Technology Terminology

As you learn online, you may encounter new technology-related terms or systems. This list of distance learning terminology may help identify some of the requirements or features in your courses.

Accelerated schedule
A class offered on a shorter timeframe than the standard 16-week term, covering the same amount of course content in a more condensed, accelerated amount of time.

Accessibility
Ensuring that online course content and distance learning technologies are available and can be accessed by students with disabilities and students located throughout the world. View K-State's accessibility policy.

Add/drop
Changing the student's course schedule by adding and/or dropping a course.

Adobe Connect
An online communication tool that allows you to deliver content using live video, audio and change, and view PowerPoint presentations.

Advisor
A department or college-based faculty member who helps a student achieve her or his educational goals by providing guidance on courses, program requirements, prerequisites, programs of study, and policies and procedures.

Blackboard Collaborate
A web conferencing tool to create a virtual classroom. This will only be used occasionally at K-State and your professor will have more instructions on how to use it.

Blended learning
A course format that combines online or computer-mediated course delivery with an on-site or face-to-face component.

Blog
A website with published chronological entries from an individual or multiple contributors. “Blog” is word blend of “web log” and typically includes informational or opinion entries and posts for comment or discussion.

Browser
Web search platforms including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and more. If a browser does not let you perform a desired function, try a different browser or view K-State's browser recommendations.

Chat
Real-time online discussion that can be initiated as needed or at a scheduled time for participants. Your class instructor will contact you with specific dates and times for participating in a scheduled chat.

Discussion (message board)
A web-based bulletin board where messages can be posted and read at any time. You will see the message board link located within your course in K-State Online.

Download
Process of transferring data or files from an online location to your computer.

Dropbox
Dropbox is a file hosting service offering cloud storage, file synchronization and client software. Files placed in a Dropbox folder are accessible through a website and mobile phone applications. K-State's learning management system, K-State Online, may include a Dropbox feature in assignments. Your professor may use Dropbox or Box within your course.

eID
An electronic identifier that is required to log in to many university systems. You are required to register for an eID.

Email/webmail
Microsoft 365, K-State's email and calendaring system for students, faculty and staff. You may forward K-State emails to open systems like Google, Yahoo and Hotmail, but you should log in and review webmail regularly to ensure that you are not missing any information.

Face-to-face
A course format where students must attend in person. Course descriptions will identify whether a class has any face-to-face requirements.

Flipped classroom
A classroom model in which the typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed. Short video lectures are viewed by students at home before the class session, while in-class time is devoted to exercises, projects or discussions.

Google Docs
A free web-based technology supported by Google that allows collaborative writing and editing of documents online and in real time with other users.

Guided study
Instructor-directed independent learning courses that use technology to support regular and substantive interaction between students and the instructor. They may include reading books and articles, viewing online lectures, writing assignments, completing projects, and taking exams, as specified by the instructor. Guided study courses have set start and end dates and course syllabi provide dates, for completion of assignments, projects and exams.

Hybrid Course 
A significant amount of the course learning activity has been moved online, making it possible to reduce the amount of time spent in the classroom. Traditional face-to-face instruction is reduced but not eliminated. The "hybrid" course model is also referred to as "blended."

Intersession
Short courses offered between standard university semesters each January, May and August. View classes.

KSIS
K-State's student information system used to enroll in classes, view grades, order transcripts, pay tuition and more.

K-State Connect
Connect is K-State's interactive dashboard of commonly-used K-State services. It allows K-Staters to quickly view highlighted details of the services available to them, which could include their webmail, calendar, eProfile, K-State Online and more.

K-State Online
The university's learning management system that is used to deliver your online course content (e.g., video lectures, syllabus, resource materials, etc.). K-State Online includes links to many online learning technologies you may need to access during your course.

Learning Management System (LMS)
A software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting and delivery of electronic educational technology courses.

Netiquette
Proper etiquette that should be used when communicating through the internet, including by email, chat, message boards and other modes of online communication. View more about Netiquette.

Online
Designation that all or part of a class is taught through a computer-mediated format on the Web. A computer that meets minimum requirements and has access to the internet is usually required for online learning.

Proctor
A person who monitors students during an examination. Learn more about proctored exams.

RSS
An XML-based format used to distribute web content. RSS feeds (known as Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary) allow users to subscribe to information published from sources with frequently updated entries or content.

Video conference
Online communication that occurs in real time using text chat, VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and video features. You will see a Zoom link located within your course in K-State Online. The audio portion requires a microphone and speakers to participate, and the video portion requires a webcam. Some faculty may also choose to use Skype, a free web-based technology used to send instant messages and video chat.

Social media
Online applications with user-generated content for the purpose of social communication, information sharing, networking and interaction. Social media platforms include FacebookTwitterLinkedInYouTube and many more.

Streaming video
Using high-speed Internet capabilities to gain access to video lectures and other course resources. If you are experiencing problems with streaming video freezing and buffering, run the video connectivity test.

Teleconference
Communication by phone for course-related discussions, usually involving multiple people and phone lines. If your instructor has chosen to use teleconferences, you will receive dates, a call-in number and a PIN code to enter.

Track changes
A function in Microsoft Word that allows you to show edits and comments made to the document. 

Upload
Process of transferring data or files from a computer to an online location.

WID
Wildcat ID, your student identification number. This is a nine-digit number that always begins with an “8.”

Wiki
Website with content that is collaboratively developed and edited by a community of users.

Contact your course instructor or the Student and Faculty Services office if you need additional information.

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