The process of formally recognising the learning that has taken place against specific achievement criteria. This can be in the form of credits towards a qualification. In Higher Education, accreditation is the process by which one institution gains authority to award, and/or gains recognition of, its qualifications from another senior competent authority.
Further information: European Accreditation
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.
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.
The evaluation of the learning that has taken place against a set of achievement criteria. Assessment can take different forms, such as formative "ongoing" feedback and summative exams or coursework.
• Formative assessment is 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.
• Summative assessment is aimed at evaluating student learning at the end of an instructional unit by comparing it against some standard or benchmark.
• Peer assessment/review is an assessment/review of students’ work carried out by other students.
• Self-assessment is an evaluation of one's own abilities.
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.
Not occurring at the same time; for example, a discussion in an online forum may not result in participants engaging at the same time as each other. Asynchronous learning is a general term used to describe forms of education, instruction, and learning that do not occur in the same place or at the same time.
A characteristic that provides pleasure and attracts. Often used in the context of enablers and drivers of education.
First of the three cycles of the Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area.
See also Master, PhD
A mix of online instruction using different media and face-to-face teaching.
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.
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.
A theoretical model used in science and business contexts. Although the concept was developed in the context of for-profit businesses, it is now applied to any type of organisation, including for-profit, non-profit, and governmental.
There are many versions of business models: Al-Debei (2008) identified four primary dimensions while Kalman (2014) comprised the following three components:
- Customer Value Proposition
- Infrastructure (both resources and processes)
- Financial Aspects
Business Model Canvas (BMC)
A strategic management template for developing new business models.
The formal recognition that an individual has demonstrated a proficiency within, and comprehension of, a specific body of knowledge.
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.
A cMOOC or "connectivist MOOC" creates a network of participants who find and exchange resources with each other. The knowledge is distributed and partly self-generated, and the coherence of the course as well as its progression are constructed by the learner. The participants can enrich the MOOC, and the community helps to construct and distribute the content.
Learning through the exchange and sharing of information and opinions among a peer group.
A form of plagiarism where there is inappropriate collaboration between students or the knowing exchange of answers.
The ability to do something successfully.
The number of learners who earned a certificate of completion or 'passed' the course.
A learning theory that emphasises a "social" network at the centre of the approach. It has been used widely in the more experimental MOOCs, also known as cMOOCs.
Digital teaching material provided to learners. Online learning content can include text, audio, video, animations, simulations and more.
Continuous Professional Development (CPD)
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
The practice of offering people the right to freely distribute copies and modified versions of a work with the stipulation that the same rights be preserved in derivative works down the line.
A legal means of protecting an author's work.
The entrepreneurial behaviour exhibited by the company itself. CE is a process of creation of new businesses, and other innovative activities, such as development of new products, services, technologies, administrative techniques, strategies and competitive postures.
Setting learning objectives, choosing media applications, planning evaluation and preparing instructional strategies in advance of students recruitment and development of course materials.
A unit of study, typically with a workload of more than 25–30 hours, that includes:
a. a study guide/syllabus with instructions on how to learn from the presented materials and interactions;
b. educational content, which may include video, audio, text, games (including simulations), social media and animation;
c. possibilities for interaction, such as social media channels, forums, blogs or RSS readers to build a learning community;
d. activities/tasks, tests and feedback, which can be automatically generated (e.g., quizzes), as well as peer feedback and/or general feedback from academic staff;
e. exams, including some kind of recognition options.
See also: study guide, assessment, feedback
A non-profit organisation that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools.
More: Creative Commons
See also: open licensing
A term sometimes used to refer to a qualification.
The currency providing a measure of learning outcomes achieved in a notional time at a given level.
A broad term covering both academic and subject requirements, and the processes for organising and managing the teaching and learning.
A digital assessment and credentialing mechanism that is used to acknowledge the learning that has taken place. 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.
A library that has collections with electronic materials such as eJournals, online databases, and eBooks.
The knowledge, skills and behaviours used in a broad range of digital devices. Digital Literacy is about competently using digital devices to achieve goals related to work, employability, learning and leisure.
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.
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).
The inclusion of individuals representing more than one national origin, colour, religion, socioeconomic stratum, sexual orientation, etc.
Institutional drivers define influences/trends that impact on the prioritisation of activities.
A student who withdraws before completing a course of instruction.
The process of imparting or acquiring knowledge or skills.
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.).
The structures and mechanisms used to respond effectively to institutional drivers.
To organise, operate, and assess the risk of a new business venture.
The act of setting up and managing a business venture along with any risks in the hope of making a profit. It is also perceived as a universal set of skills and attitudes that can be applied to undertakings in every context – new business, company project or social venture.
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.
The part of the share capital of a company owned by ordinary shareholders. The value of equity capital is calculated by estimating the current market value of everything owned by the company from which the total of all liabilities is subtracted. On the balance sheet of the company, equity capital is listed as stockholders' equity or owners' equity.
European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS)
A transferable and transparent credit-based system for higher education courses enabling students to move universities and have past credit-bearing courses recognised.
More: Education & Training
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.
The act of systematically determining the importance, effectiveness or value of something.
An instructor who assists, directs, and stimulates the learning during an online course.
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.
In online communication (e.g. discussion forums),exchanges of increasingly angry and offensive messages, often caused by a breach of netiquette.
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.
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).
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 / education
A form of learning delivered by trained teachers in a systemic intentional way within a school, college, university or other educational institution.
See also: non-formal learning, informal learning
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: Framework for qualifiations of the European Higher Education Area
A business model in which a basic service or product is available to users for free, but additional services and features must be paid for. A well-known example of a freemium business model is Skype, which provides free computer-to-computer calling and sells premium products in the form of voicemail, conference calls and worldwide connection to landlines and mobile phones.
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.
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.
Global competitiveness index (GCI)
The GCI integrates the macro-economic and the micro-business aspects of competitiveness into a single index, which is made up of over 110 variables, structured in a framework and a corresponding set of indicators in three principal domains (pillars) and twelve sub-domains.
The Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) is a comprehensive assessment of countries' economic competitiveness.
Higher Education Institution (HEI)
An establishment providing higher education and recognised by the competent authorities as belonging to its system of higher education.
Degree-level education provided at universities or similar educational institutions. It encompasses 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.
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.
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.
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).
A form of learning that has no set objective in terms of learning outcomes.
See also: Non-formal learning and formal learning
A new idea, product, or method or a change that creates a new dimension of performance. innovation is often also viewed as the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, unarticulated needs, or existing market needs.
Involving the learner in formulating an open-ended question, which they must then develop and address through investigation.
Designed to teach someone how to do something.
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.
Relating to or involving more than one culture.
A basic concept of today’s society and a process through which an organisation changes its behaviour to become culturally neutral.
The degree to which products, programs, etc. can be used together, or the quality of being able to be used together.
The act of behaving like an entrepreneur while working within a large organisation.
The 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.
A method of teaching that shifts the focus of instruction from the teacher to the student.
The acquisition of knowledge or skills through study, experience or being taught.
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.
The process of planning, structuring and sequencing learning activities.
Learning management system (LMS)
A software application used to plan, implement and access learning content. A LMS can register users, track courses in a catalogue, record data from learners, and provide reports to management.
The specific intellectual and practical skills gained and tested by the successful completion of a unit, course or whole programme of study. They take the form of statements which indicate what a learner should have achieved in respect of both knowledge and skills at the end of a given course or programme.
An integrated set of online services that provides teachers and learners with the information, tools and resources to support learning.
Learning to learn
The ability to pursue and organise one’s own learning , either individually or in groups, in accordance with one’s own needs, and awareness of methods and opportunities.
The process of giving or getting permission to have, produce, or use something that another person or company has created or owns.
All learning activity undertaken throughout a person's lifetime, 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.
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.
Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)
An online course 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.
More: Framework for qualifications of the European Higher Education Area
Second of the three cycles of the Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area.
See also: Bachelor, PhD
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.
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
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.
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.
An online system that focuses on the delivery of the content and tools needed for learning and participating in a MOOC. A MOOC platform can be run by the institution itself or outsourced to MOOC platforms such as edX, Coursera, Udacity, FutureLearn, etc.
An institution or organisation that creates and publishes a MOOC. In many cases these are HEIs, but MOOCs are also offered by various agencies, social enterprises and organisations.
national Qualification Framework
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.
More: National Qualification Framework
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
A collective term for all forms of learning and education which happens in all fields outside of formal educational systems.
See also: Informal learning and formal learning
To be away from a university or college campus.
To attend lectures, tutorials and participate in other activities located on a university or college campus.
A term describing activity that requires a connection to the Internet.
A course that is available to learners online. For example, a course where most or all of the content is delivered online (>80% of content is delivered online); or all course activity is done online - there are no required face-to-face sessions within the course and no requirements for on-campus activity.
Online education / learning
An umbrella term used to describe any education or training that occurs via the internet. In online education, learning is a result of online-facilitated experiences that are not constrained by time and/or distance. The label “online” applies to both the delivery of course material and the teacher-learner and learner-learner interactions.
To be available to all. In the context of education it refers to broadening access of education (see accessibility and open education).
Creative work that can be copied, modified and shared under an open licence.
Course materials created by an educational institution and published online for free, and under an open licence.
A collective term for the institutional practices and initiatives that broaden access to learning and training outside of traditional education systems.
Open education 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).
Open Educational Resouces (OERs)
Teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property licence that permits their free use and repurposing by others.
A type of licence that grants permissions beyond those offered by standard copyright law.
See also: creative commons
More: Open Pedagogy
A 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.
More: OER Knowledge, Open education handbook
The method and practice and teaching.
A person who is the same age or has the same social position or the same abilities as other people in a group.
peer assessment / review
Assessment or review of students’ work carried out by other students.
A student experience in which the pace of learning and the instructional approach are optimized for the needs of each learner. Standards aligned learning objectives, instructional approaches and instructional content (and its sequencing) may all vary based on learner needs. In addition, learning activities are meaningful and relevant to learners, driven by their interests and often self-initiated
Resource: Personalised learning
Third of the three cycles of the Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area
See also: Bachelor, Master
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.
A sequenced set of courses or modules representing a student’s total study requirement and usually leading to an award on successful completion.
The state of belonging or being available to the public as a whole and not subject to copyright or legal restrictions.
An official completion of a course or programme of courses; any degree, diploma or other certificate issued by a competent authority attesting the successful completion of a higher education programme.
The maintenance of a desired level of quality in a service or product. In education this implies the inclusion of the quality of teaching, resources, assessments, etc., as well as the quality of the institution.
Quality Management System
A formalised system that documents processes, procedures, and responsibilities for achieving quality policies and objectives. A QMS helps coordinate and direct an organisation’s activities to meet customer and regulatory requirements and improve its effectiveness and efficiency on a continuous basis.
An instructional activity in the form of a dialogue between teachers and students with the aim of collaborative construction of meaning.
The act or process of recognising or being recognised. In education, this could be an acknowledgement of an achievement, such as course completion, by a competent authority.
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.
More: Recognition networks
(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.
A digital library to store educational material (assessments, courses, learning objects, open educational resources).
The condition of retaining (keeping) something.
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.
Learning that occurs across different locations and times, using technology and in a range of social settings.
A form of instruction that proceeds based on the learner's response; for example, a self-paced course enables a learner to start and finish as quickly or as slowly as they like.
A way of learning by studying something by oneself.
A block of teaching time of around 14 – 15 weeks.
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.
More: Social inclusion
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).
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.
A teaching approach that places the student at the centre. In learner-centred courses students construct their own learning from a rich environment, and share and communicate it with others; they should not simply focus on the transmission of content knowledge to the student.
students as co-creators
Incorporating activities that encourage students to create and/or share artefacts that are relevant to others.
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.
Framework to support a course.
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.
Existing or occurring at the same time.
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.
Skills such as communication, problem-solving and teamwork that can be applied in different academic and work contexts.
A teacher who provides instruction, academic advice or counsel to one or more students.
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.
A process of breaking up education provision into smaller parts, which can then be offered at a different scale and cost.
The process of making something official.
The process of establishing the accuracy or validity of something.
An interactive environment for creating and conducting simulated experiments.
Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
A system for delivering learning materials to learners via the web. The main components of a VLE system include curriculum mapping (breaking curriculum into sections that can be assigned and assessed), student tracking, online support for both teachers and students, electronic communication (e-mail, threaded discussions, chat), and links to external curriculum resources.
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.
Courses of study related to professional practice and labour market needs.
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 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).
The amount of work to be completed by someone. In education this can be the number of hours learning activities will take to complete.
See also: ECTS
A MOOC which follows a more traditional course structure. An xMOOC focuses on the transmission of knowledge didactically; i.e., it is fairly close to the classic pedagogical model used in lecture theatres. The designer of the MOOC predefines the learning objectives and how knowledge acquisition will occur.