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Learning management system glossary & common definitions


Explore essential learning concepts in our glossary, covering topics from learning management systems (LMS) to innovative approaches like asynchronous and synchronous learning. Discover tools such as SCORM, blended learning, gamification, and course management within the LMS landscape. Uncover the strategic role of instructional design, delve into personalized learning pathways, and navigate through competency-based learning and assessments.

Analytics and reporting

Tools within an LMS that track and report on user data, progress, and performance.

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Asynchronous learning

Learning that does not occur in real-time, allowing learners to access materials, assignments, and tests at their convenience.

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Blended learning

A mix of traditional face-to-face and online learning experiences.

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Collaborative learning

Platform features in an LMS that allow learners to engage in shared activities, projects, and peer-to-peer discussions fostering collective knowledge creation, collaboration, and real-time communication to enhance the overall learning experience.


A specific skill or ability that a learner is expected to master as part of their education or job role/function.

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Competency-based learning

An educational or training approach where progress is based on demonstrating competency in skills rather than time spent in a classroom or training.Platform features in an LMS that allow learners to engage in shared activities, projects, and peer-to-peer discussions fostering collective knowledge creation, collaboration, and real-time communication to enhance the overall learning experience.

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Course authoring

The creation of educational and training content, like courses and modules, using specialized tools. It involves structuring materials, adding multimedia, and defining interactions for an engaging learning experience. The goal is to align content with learning objectives, making it accessible and trackable within the LMS.

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Course management

The features in an LMS that allows for the creation, delivery, and tracking of courses and curricula through a managed dashboard for both learners and instructors.

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Learning facilitated by digital technologies including online courses, interactive modules, and multimedia resources designed to provide flexible, accessible, and engaging educational experiences.

Formative assessment

Regular, ongoing assessments used to monitor learner progress.

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The use of game design elements in non-game contexts, like learning platforms, to enhance user engagement and motivation.

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Instructional design

The process of planning, developing, and delivering effective learning experiences through the creation of curriculum, instructional materials, and online courses.

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Learning outcome

The specific knowledge or skills learners are expected to acquire.

Learning path

A curated and structured sequence of courses and modules designed to guide learners through a personalized learning journey with emphasis on the learners' control of choice.

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Learning pathway

A learner-centered approach that allows for individual progress and pacing.

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LMS (Learning management system)

A software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, automation, and delivery of educational courses, training programs, HR programs, onboarding, and learning and development programs.

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The level at which a learner has fully understood and can apply a particular skill or knowledge area.

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MOOC (Massive open online course)

A course of study made available over the Internet without charge to a very large number of people.

Personalized learning

Tailoring education to meet the different needs, interests, and abilities of each learner.

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SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model)

A set of technical standards for e-learning software platforms, ensuring interoperability, accessibility, and reusability of digital learning content.


Self-paced learning

A system that allows learners to progress through a curriculum at their own speed based on their ability to demonstrate competency.

Standards-based education

Standards-based education sets clear, measurable learning goals for each educational stage, ensuring consistency and accountability.

Summative assessment

Evaluation at the end of an instructional period to measure learner competency levels.

Synchronous learning

Real-time learning where instructors, trainers, teachers and learners interact in a specific virtual place, through a specific online medium, at a specific time.

Talent management system

An integrated software platform that combines various HR processes including recruitment, performance management, and learning & development to attract and retain organizational talent.

User engagement

The strategies and functionality used to keep learners actively participating and invested in their learning process.

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